LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday granted interim protective bail to former prime minister Imran Khan in an FIR of alleged fraud in the sale of Toshakhana gifts and restrained the Islamabad police from arresting his wife Bushra Bibi till June 13 in any case.

The PTI chairman reached the court in a black vehicle and was guarded with bulletproof shields by his personal security.

Separately on Wednesday, Kohsar police of Islamabad registered an FIR against the PTI chief, his wife, ex-accountability czar Shahzad Akbar, PTI leader Zulfi Bukhari, Farah and others on charges of forgery, cheating and dishonesty.

The case was registered in response to a complaint lodged by Naseemul Haq, who operates a business of sale and purchase of expensive watches, on charges of 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), and 471 (using as genuine a forged document).

Capital police register another FIR against Imran, Bushra and close aides

According to the application for registration of an FIR against Mr Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi and their close aides under sections 420, 467, 468, and 417 of the PPC 1860, the accused, in connivance with each other, committed fraud and forgery for the purpose of cheating.

In the FIR, the plaintiff claimed that the accused presented fake receipts for the purchase and sale of Toshakhana gifts, such as watches and cufflinks. Additionally, they fraudulently used his forged signature.

LHC proceedings

At the outset of the hearing, Justice Amjad Rafiq asked Barrister Salman Safdar, the counsel for Mr Khan, whether criminal proceedings could be initiated in the Toshakhana case.

The counsel replied in the negative and said that after NAB and FIA, the police had been used to implicate the petitioner in a politically-motivated case.

He said the PTI chief had also been implicated in a murder case in Quetta. He said his client was due to appear in different courts on Thursday (today) for bail in 11 cases.

The counsel argued that police implicated the PTI chief in the case with mala fide intention and asked the court to grant protective bail to the petitioner so that he could appear before the court concerned in Islamabad for pre-arrest bail.

Justice Rafiq admitted the request and allowed the interim protective bail to Mr Khan till June 21.

A judge also restrained the Islamabad police from arresting Bushra Bibi in any case till June 13 and summoned a report with the signatures of the IG Islamabad.

Bushra Bibi had filed a writ petition seeking details of cases registered against her. Advocate Intizar Hussain Panjotha, on behalf of the petitioner, told the court that the Islamabad police in a report denied registration of any new case against his client. However, he said, the Kohsar police lodged an FIR against her the other day.

A law officer told the court that Bushra Bibi was only nominated in Al-Qadir Trust case by NAB. However, Justice Rafiq restrained police from arresting the petitioner in any case till the next hearing.

Al-Qadir case

Meanwhile, Mr Khan’s spouse also submitted her statement to NAB in the Al-Qadir Trust case on Wednesday wherein she expressed ignorance about any “wrongdoing” in the trust’s affairs or the settlement between the UK’s National Crime Agency and property tycoon Malik Riaz.

“There was no such land, cash, gift or any valuable thing given to me or, as far as my information goes, to any other trustee, by Malik Riaz Hussain or any of his family member/Bahria Town Ltd,” she said.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2023

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