ISLAMABAD: An Islamabad judge on Thursday suspended the non-bailable arrest warrants of PTI chief Imran Khan in the judge intimidation case.

In another litigation, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has reserved the decision on the maintainability of a petition seeking Mr Khan’s disqualification for concealing his alleged daughter. The PTI chief also filed two fresh applications, one challenging the NAB’s proceedings in the Toshakhana case and other to quash all cases against him.

On Thursday, Islamabad Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Sikandar Khan suspended the warrants issued a day ago.

Mr Khan, through his counsels Faisal Fareed and Ali Bukhari, had challenged the non-bailable arrest warrant issued by Judicial Magistrate Malik Aman in the case for using threatening language against a lady judge and top cops.

The counsels argued that the judicial magistrate should have issued bailable warrants before issuing the non-bailable warrants.

PTI chief challenges NAB proceedings, LHC urged to quash all cases

The ADSJ, after suspending the warrants, issued notices to the respondents and adjourned further hearing till Friday (today).

Petition in LHC

In a separate litigation, PTI Chairman Khan approached the Lahore High Court to quash all cases registered against him by the police, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

A petition, filed through Barrister Salman Safdar, stated that at least 121 cases have been registered against the former prime minister in different cities. The petition alleged that the respondents have been misusing authorities to “frustrate and disable” Mr Khan and his party from participating in the upcoming general elections.

It claimed that an unprecedented campaign of political victimisation was started soon after the ouster of Mr Khan’s government with a malicious campaign to register false and frivolous cases against him.

The petition alleged that since its establishment, the caretaker government in Punjab has acted as an extension of the political parties ruling in the Centre by registering cases against the PTI head.

It clearly showed there was a scheme by the ruling coalition to deprive Mr Khan of his liberty and prevent him from contesting the elections, the petition pleaded.

“Subjecting an individual to numerous proceedings in different jurisdictions on frivolous cases of the same cause of actions cannot be accepted in the law,” the petition continued.

Mr Khan requested the court to declare all FIRs, inquiries and call-up notices against him “illegal and in violation of his fundamental rights”.

Imran challenges NAB proceedings

Separately, the PTI chairman on Thursday challenged the NAB case initiated against him for retaining and ‘illegally’ selling Toshakhana gifts.

On Feb 17, NAB issued notice to Mr Khan for retaining state gifts,

including wristwatches and a mobile phone, presented to him by various foreign dignitaries.

In the petition before the IHC, filed through his attorney Khawaja Haris Ahmed and Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, the former prime minister pleaded that the NAB issued the notice in violation of Section 19 of the National Accountability Ordinance.

“The contents of the call-up notice unambiguously establish that the respondents [NAB] have, through their impugned notice, initiated a fishing exercise, rather than complying with the provision of law before issuing the same”, the petition said. The petitions requested the court to declare the NAB notice illegal.

IHC reserves verdict

An IHC larger bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Arbab Mohammad Tahir reserved the verdict on a petition seeking Mr Khan’s disqualification for concealing his alleged daughter.

The petitioner’s counsel, Advocate Hamid Ali Shah, cited the Habib Akram case in which the Supreme Court made the filing of a declaration — containing complete details of candidates before the returning officer — mandatory.

He pleaded that the court held that the concealment of any fact would be tantamount to contempt of the court.

Referring to Mr Khan’s declaration he submitted to the Returning Officer, the counsel said the mentioned two children — his sons — whom he said were not financially dependent on him as they were living with their mother in the UK.

The counsel added that Mr Khan’s alleged daughter, Tyrian White, was unmarried and she will remain dependent until she gets married.

Justice Kayani questioned if Mr Khan ever admitted her as his daughter. The court then reserved the decision on the petition which will be announced later.

Wajih Ahmad Sheikh in Lahore also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2023

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