ISLAMABAD: PTI founder Imran Khan has said he’d file references against judges who convicted him in the cipher and Iddat cases, and also write a letter to the army chief “in the larger interest of nation”.

While talking to reporters during the hearing of the £190 million corruption case inside Adiala Jail, the former prime minister added he has asked his legal team to file references against District and Sessions Judge Abual Hasnat Mohammad Zulqarnain and Senior Civil Judge Qudratullah for misconduct.

Judge Zulqarnain convicted Mr Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi in cipher case and sentenced them to 10 years’ imprisonment, while Judge Qudratullah sentenced him and his spouse, Bushra Bibi, to seven-year imprisonment for contracting marriage during the latter’s iddat period.

While talking about the letter addressed to Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir, Mr Khan said the correspondence won’t be for any deal but “in the larger interest of Pakistan”.

fixed for hearing after a year; PTI says stopping SC livestream during ex-PM’s appearance ‘unjustified and discriminatory’

The PTI founder said he had advised his lawyer to prepare a draft letter in which he would explain the situation in Azad Kashmir.

“We should think of the direction where the country is headed,” Mr Khan said, adding that Pakistan could not afford any conflict between its people and armed forces.

Mr Khan criticised the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor, calling him a “beneficiary of Form-47” who has been attacking the province’s chief minister.

He added that “beneficiaries of Form-47” launched the media campaign against Islamabad High Court’s Justice Babar Sattar.

Court proceedings

During the proceedings on Friday, the accountability court could not record the testimony of any witness in the 190m pounds corruption case as Ms Bibi expressed a lack of confidence in Judge Nasir Javed Rana.

She told the judge that the previous hearing was conducted in her absence, to which the judge replied that the hearing was adjourned without any progress on the request of jail authorities.

Later, after consulting their client, Ms Bibi’s lawyer told the judge that she wanted adjournment for a fortnight.

The judge accepted the adjournment request but summoned the witnesses for testimonies on May 22.

Bench formed

Separately, the IHC registrar office has fixed the Tyrian White case for hearing on May 21, after a delay of almost a year.

According to a cause list issued by the registrar’s office, a larger bench comprising Justices Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, Arbab Mohammad Tahir and Saman Rafat Imtiaz will hear the petition.

The matter has been virtually shelved since May 2023, when the IHC chief justice dissolved a three-member bench hearing the case after the opinions of two jud­ges regarding the petition’s maintainability were uploaded on the court’s website.

A three-judge larger bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justices Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Arbab Muhammad Tahir had reserved its verdict on March 30, 2023. Justices Kayani and Tahir gave opinions against the petition’s maintainability,

A citizen, Muhammad Sajid, has filed a plea seeking Mr Khan’s disqualification for allegedly concealing Tyrian White as his dependent.

Live stream of SC proceedings

In a statement, the PTI has said restriction on the live stream of Supreme Court’s proceedings in the NAB law amendments case was “unjustified, discriminatory and an attempt to deprive people of their fundamental constitutional right to access authentic information”.

The proceedings on Thursday, in which Mr Khan appeared via a video link, were not aired live on media or the court’s YouTube channel.

The PTI spokesperson stated that the chief justice’s decision of not allowing the live telecast was against the set practice and spoke volume of his “discriminatory and prejudiced behaviour”.

The issue of NAB amendments was not Mr Khan’s personal matter, the statement said, adding that the PTI founder “wanted to strengthen the accountability system by preventing persons-specific amendments in the NAB law”.

It was Mr Khan’s fundamental and legal right to present his point of view as a petitioner on a matter of national importance but he was deprived of this right, the statement claimed.

The spokesperson added that the CJP could not oppose the appearance of Mr Khan due to the opinion of his fellow judges, but he “discriminated” against the ex-PM by not allowing live broadcast of the proceedings.

The chief justice should answer why the routine broadcast was halted on the occasion of Imran Khan’s appearance, the statement added.

The “personal and individual” decisions of the CJP were becoming “tarnishing the image of the entire justice system” in the eyes of people.

The CJP should instead use his powers “to restore the dignity and respect of the judiciary” by protecting judges from state coercion and interference and preventing deviation from the Constitution and law.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Olympics contingent
21 Jul, 2024

Olympics contingent

FROM 10 in Tokyo the last time, it is now down to seven in Paris, and split across just three disciplines. When...
Grave concerns
21 Jul, 2024

Grave concerns

PUNJAB Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz’s open assault on the Supreme Court for ruling in favour of the PTI in the...
Civil unrest
Updated 21 Jul, 2024

Civil unrest

The government must start putting out fires instead of fanning more flames.
Royal tantrum
Updated 20 Jul, 2024

Royal tantrum

The PML-N's confrontational stance and overt refusal to respect courts orders on arguably flimsy pretexts is a dangerous sign.
Bangladesh chaos
Updated 20 Jul, 2024

Bangladesh chaos

The unfortunate events playing out in Bangladesh should serve as a warning sign for other South Asian states.
Fitch’s estimate
20 Jul, 2024

Fitch’s estimate

FITCH seems to be more optimistic about Pakistan accelerating its economic growth rate to 3.2pc during this fiscal...