PTI moves IHC to stop chairman’s arrest in other cases

IHC bars dist magistrate from issuing arrest orders under MPO

Court seeks notification for keeping PTI chief in Attock Jail.

ISLAMABAD  -  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will take up PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s petition along with objections to­day, seeking issuance of a stay order against his arrest in other cases. Chief Justice Aamer Farooq will hear the case filed through Imran Khan’s coun­sel Salman Safdar Advocate. The pe­titioner had named NAB, FIA and Po­lice as respondents in his case. Also, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday barred the district mag­istrate Islamabad from issuing arrest orders under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) till further orders. 

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Babar Sattar issued the di­rections while hearing two separate petitions moved by Shehryar Afridi and Sabahat Gulzar mother of Shan­dana Gulzar through their coun­sel Sher Afzal Khan Marwat Advo­cate challenging their arrest under 3 Maintenance of Public Order (MPO). 

The IHC bench also issued notic­es to the Attorney General of Paki­stan (AGP) seeking his assistance in the matter. During the hearing, Justice Sattar asked that under what law the Deputy Commissioner had been issuing orders under MPO as district magistrate. The court noted that only a notification of 1965 had been produced in this connection. He added that how the affairs of fed­eral capital were being run. 

In response to a query of the court, Deputy Commissioner ICT Irfan Memon said that every officer was used to be given notification at time of his appointment as Deputy Com­missioner. The court questioned that how an old laws of 60s could be applied in the federal capital. 

Later, the court stopped the Dep­uty Commissioner from issuance of the orders under MPO till further orders and also sought assistance from AGP in the matter. The court also appointed Salahuddin Advocate and Waqar Rana Advocate as amicus curiae in the case. The court also ex­tended its stay order against the ar­rest of petitioners in any other case.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court Wednesday sought a noti­fication from authorities pertain­ing to keeping the PTI chairman in the Attock Jail in the cipher case af­ter suspension of his sentence in the Toshakhana criminal case. Chief Jus­tice Aamer Farooq heard the cases pertaining to provision of facilities to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief and running of his trial in jail in the ci­pher case. At the outset of hearing, the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) prosecutor prayed the court to grant a one week time for submission of comments in the cipher case. He said the petitioner’s lawyer had given an impression before the trial court that he would withdraw the case in the IHC. The chief justice observed that the date on the notification regard­ing the changing of the trial’s location was August 30. He questioned wheth­er the notification was issued for only one hearing or for the complete trial. 

The prosecutor said that he would inform the court in that regard after taking instructions. The chief jus­tice noted that the court was shift­ed to the Judicial Complex from F-8 Kachehri on the request of PTI chairman. How the Law Ministry is­sued the notification in that regard as the Interior Ministry was the rele­vant forum to do so, he asked.

The petitioner’s lawyer Sher Afzal Marawat prayed the court to stop the authorities from shifting of the court’s venue for next hearing. The chief justice said that the court would fix the case before next hear­ing of the case by the trial court. The PTI chief’s lawyer said that they did not want to withdraw the case rather wanted to give arguments. The trial court was not hearing their post ar­rest bail plea due to pendency of the case at the IHC. The chief justice said that the court would pass an order that its proceeding would not affect those in the post-arrest bail case. 

Special Prosecutor Raja Rizwan Abbasi said that an identical case was also pending before the trial court. During the hearing, the PTI chief’s lawyer Latif Khosa prayed the court that his client should be shifted to the Adiala Jail, which was safer than the Attock Jail, and pro­vided B-class facilities. He said his client was facing a number of prob­lems in the Attock Jail, where he could not even sleep at night. The Assistant Advocate General Punjab said that the class system in jails had been abolished and now there were common and better classes.

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