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.