ISLAMABAD: Although it was an off day, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) was opened on Sunday to grant pre-arrest bail to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan in a case pertaining to his controversial remarks against Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Zeba Chaudhry.

However, the high court directed Mr Khan to appear before the court concerned before Friday (Oct 7).

Earlier, the capital police had obtained arrest warrant of Mr Khan in connection with the case regarding a threat given by him to ADSJ Zeba Chaudhry in August.

The warrant was issued by the court of Senior Civil Judge Rana Mujahid Rahim on Sept 30, the same day when Mr Khan appeared in the court of Judge Zeba Chaudhry to apologise to her over his remarks. As the judge was on leave that day, the PTI chief had asked the court’s reader to convey his apology to the judge.

Court approves PTI chief’s plea against a surety bond of Rs10,000

According to the warrant, Mr Khan has been charged under sections 188, 189, 504, and 506 of the Pakistan Penal Code. While the warrant sought Mr Khan’s production before the court, the columns of the date, month and year when the accused would be produced in the court were not filled.

However, it was mentioned that the warrant was issued in connection with a case registered with Margalla police station.

The FIR had earlier included terrorism charges under 7ATA, which were struck down by the IHC on Sept 19.

On Sunday, the IHC granted pre-arrest bail to Mr Khan as the PTI chief filed a petition with the IHC on the same day through his counsel, Babar Awan.

In the petition, Imran Khan said that a terrorism case was initially filed against him, but the charges were later struck down by the high court and the case was transferred.

He alleged that the coalition government had filed a false case against him and the purpose was to quash a “peaceful movement against the corrupt mafia”.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani of the IHC took up the PTI leader’s petition and barred Islamabad police from arresting him.

The court approved Mr Khan’s bail plea against the submission of a surety bond of Rs10,000. The IHC directed the PTI chief to appear before the court concerned before Friday.

Speaking to media outside the court, Mr Awan said that the IHC had granted the PTI chief “pre-arrest transitory protective bail”, adding that “we will turn up at the lower court before Oct 7”.

He said he had appeared before Justice Kayani and raised a few “factual points” pertaining to the case.

“I told him that we had already obtained bail in this case as well as the fact these charges can’t be imposed because they are non-cognisable offences.”

Imran Khan’s counsel said that whatever happened on Saturday evening was “very dangerous” as the entire country stood up against the possible arrest of Mr Khan without any call. “This imported government must see Mr Khan’s power.”

He was of the view that lawyers, labourers, students, youth as well as the entire nation would take to the streets once the party leader gave a date for his long march.

Mr Khan has already hinted that he will announce the date within a week.

Mr Awan said that it would now be the PTI’s turn to file cases based on “truth and facts”, adding that the government won’t be able to lodge cases any more.

Fawad welcomes probe

Meanwhile, Central Vice Presi­dent of PTI Fawad Chaudhry, in a post on social media, appreciated the government’s move to investigate the cipher controversy and said that Mr Khan’s government had been toppled through a conspiracy.

“We have been demanding investigation into the cipher and the foreign conspiracy since day one. However, I suggest that a judicial commission be constituted by the Supreme Court for investigation rather than by a team of Federal Investigation Agency,” he said.

The PTI leader also said that the issue of audio leaks should be handed over to a judicial commission for investigation.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

1971 in retrospect
Updated 28 Nov, 2022

1971 in retrospect

The point of no return came when the military launched Operation Searchlight in March 1971.
Gender-based violence
28 Nov, 2022

Gender-based violence

IT is a war without boundaries and seemingly without end. A UN report on femicide released on Nov 25, the...
Battle against dacoits
28 Nov, 2022

Battle against dacoits

THE Punjab police is clearly fighting a formidable, and so far losing, battle against the criminal gangs based in ...
Policy rate hike
Updated 27 Nov, 2022

Policy rate hike

The decision to hike the policy rate by 100bps is a step in the right direction, even if intended to appease the IMF.
Vawda’s reprieve
27 Nov, 2022

Vawda’s reprieve

FAISAL Vawda should be relieved. After years of running from a reckoning for submitting a false declaration in his...
Gujarat’s ghosts
27 Nov, 2022

Gujarat’s ghosts

TWO decades have passed since the bloody Gujarat riots, one of the worst spasms of anti-Muslim violence witnessed in...