LAHORE: PTI Chairman Imran Khan has approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the dismissal of his pre-arrest bail in seven cases of May 9 violent protests, including an attack on Jinnah House, which also serves as the residence of Lahore’s corps commander.
An anti-terrorism court on Aug 11 dismissed Mr Khan’s bail petitions for non prosecution, despite his lawyer’s insistence that the petitions should be adjourned due to the petitioner’s imprisonment in the Toshakhana case.
The former prime minister filed a petition through Barrister Salman Safdar, pleading that the trial court dismissed the pre-arrest bail on technical grounds, on the basis of circumstances not under the petitioner’s control.
He asked the court to set aside the trial court’s order and direct it to decide the bail petition on its merits.
ATC extends physical remand of 83 PTI activists in May 9 riot cases
The other cases include attacks on Askari Tower in Gulberg, Shadman police station, the party office of PML-N in Model Town, and torching of a container at Kalma Chowk.
In his order, the trial judge had noted that the petitioner’s counsel failed to point out any specific provision of law on the basis of which exemption from personal attendance in pre-arrest bail can be granted after the imprisonment followed by conviction.
He maintained that as per the dictum laid down by the Supreme Court, the petitioner was bound to be present on each and every date of hearing in a case of pre-arrest bail.
The judge dismissed Mr Khan’s bail petitions in all cases with the same observations.
Physical remand extended
Separately, an anti-terrorism court on Thursday extended physical remand of 83 PTI leaders and activists, including a senator and two former provincial ministers, in two cases of May 9 riots for further five days.
The police produced PTI’s Punjab president Dr Yasmin Rashid, former provincial minister Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, Senator Ijaz Chaudhry and nine others before the court on expiry of their previous remand in the Shadman police station attack case.
The investigating officer said further custody of the suspects was required to complete the investigation.
Judge Abher Gul Khan allowed the request and extended the physical remand of the suspects for five days.
The judge also extended the physical remand of PTI activists, including fashion designer Khadija Shah, Sanam Javed, Tayyaba Ambreen, former MNA Alia Hamza and 77 other suspects, in the corps commander house attack case.
The investigating officer said further custody of the suspects was needed to complete the investigation after new evidence, including 600 videos of the incident, had surfaced.
The judge extended the remand of the suspects till Sept 5.
The judge ordered that the women suspects would remain in the police custody from sunrise to sunset and in judicial lockupfor the rest of the day.
The police secured fresh physical remand of the suspects after it added new offences in all May 9 cases under sections 121 (waging or attempting to wage a war or abetting in waging of war against Pakistan), 131 (abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty) and 146 (rioting) in the FIRs.
Other offences under sections 120, 120-A, 120B, 121-A, 505, 153, 153-A, 153-B and 107 of the Pakistan Penal Code had also been added to the cases, including the attacks on Askari Tower, Shadman police station and the torching of PML-N’s party offices in Model Town.
Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2023