ISLAMABAD: An additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) on Friday converted the non-bailable arrest warrants of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan into bailable warrants.

ADSJ Sikandar Khan accepted the plea of the PTI chief against the issuance of non-bailable arrest warrants by civil judge/judicial magistrate Malik Aman and directed him to submit Rs20,000 surety bonds.

Mr Khan is scheduled to appear before the judicial magistrate on April 18.

During the hearing, the senior counsel for Mr Khan was not present, and an associate lawyer requested the court to adjourn the proceedings till April 4.

Judge Khan warned that he would withdraw the order of suspending the arrest warrants which was issued a day earlier.After a brief hearing, advocate Qamar Inayat Raja appeared on behalf of Mr Khan and the court was told that another defence lawyer, Faisal Fareed, was also on his way to the court.Advocate Faisal argued before the court that the judicial magistrate’s order of issuing non-bailable arrest warrants of Mr Khan was flawed.He pointed out that Mr Khan had been appearing in courts before he was attacked in Wazirabad.He urged the court to handle the case as a routine matter.Special prosecutor Raja Rizwan Abbasi, on the other hand, defended the judicial magistrate’s order.

He termed it contrary to the law if the court favoured an accused for dodging the legal course.

The PTI’s chief counsel argued that the charges leveled against his clients were bailable and the judicial magistrate could not have issued his non-bailable warrants.

It may be mentioned that the additional district and sessions judge, Sayyed Faizan Haider Gillani, on March 24 converted the non-bailable arrest warrants against PTI chairman into bailable ones.

The judge noted that the issuance of warrants was the discretion of the court to ensure his attendance and the accused might be asked to submit surety bonds.

The judicial magistrate in the order mentioned that Mr Khan had sought exemption on October 1, then on January 24, 26, February 13 and March 9.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2023

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