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The government through its counsel moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday to challenge the acquittal of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan by Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in a 2014 case pertaining to the alleged torture of a senior police official.

A petition filed in the court on behalf of the government states that the acquittal decision pertaining to the alleged torture of the then Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Islamabad, Asmatullah Junejo, must be declared void and directives should be issued to conduct a trial.

In 2014, Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek Chairman Tahirul Qadri staged a major rally in Islamabad against alleged rigging in the 2013 election and the Model Town tragedy, which had seen as many as 14 people killed and 100 others injured when police attacked Qadri's residence during an 'anti-encroachment' operation.

During the Islamabad sit-in, the SSP was severely beaten up by a group of violent protesters on Constitution Avenue as they stormed the Pakistan Television (PTV) headquarters and the precincts of the Parliament on September 1, 2014.

Also read: Imran Khan: Courting the law and facing law suits

Subsequently, a case was registered against Khan, Qadri, and others for the torture of Junejo and five other police officers. Arrest warrants had also been issued against the two leaders.

However, an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Islamabad on May 4 acquitted the PTI chief without holding a trial.

The petition filed in the IHC by Advocate General Islamabad states that in the case's First Information Report (FIR), Imran Khan's name was underlined as having a "special role" in the whole debacle whereby he stood on top of his container and incited supporters to beat the SSP.

Furthermore, the petition asserts that the case against Khan has evidence in the form of eyewitness accounts and testimonies that were all recorded at the time, but the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Islamabad on May 4 had announced their approval for his acquittal in a rushed hearing of the case without conducting a proper trial.

Therefore, the IHC was requested to conduct a trial in the case and declare the ATC's decision to acquit the PTI chief, null and void.