Court sets Imran Khan free amid rain of bails

Islamabad High Court stops police from arresting PTI leader in any case till May 15 n Grants two-week interim bail to Imran in Al-Qadir Trust corruption case n Imran says Pakistan Army is being maligned because of one man, the Army Chief n Urges supporters to get ready for protests.


ISLAMABAD    -    In what appears to be a blanket relief, a divi­sion bench of the Islam­abad High Court (IHC) on Friday granted inter­im-bail to Pakistan Teh­reek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chair­man Imran Khan in Al-Qadir Trust corrup­tion case for two weeks.

The two-member bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurang­zeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz heard the case. The court also re­strained the authorities from arresting PTI lead­er in any case till May 15.

Besides, the IHC also granted protective bail to Khan in three terrorism cases registered against him in Lahore and also in the murder case of Zille Shah in Lahore.

In the petition seeking relief in the cases regis­tered against him on and after May 9 in Lahore, the IHC bench compris­ing Justice Tariq Mah­mood Jahangiri and Jus­tice Arbab Muhammad Tahir granted him pro­tective bail for eleven days till May 22. The IHC bench stated in its writ­ten order, that as far as regarding causing arrest of the petitioner in other cases is concerned, this court is vested with am­ple powers under section 561-A of Cr.P.C. to secure the ends of justice. 

It added, “Further­more, the High Court is competent to pass proper orders and give consequential direc­tions for preventing the abuse of the process of law for securing the the IHC bench comprising Jus­tice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri and Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir granted him protective bail for eleven days till May 22. The IHC bench stated in its writ­ten order, that as far as regard­ing causing arrest of the petition­er in other cases is concerned, this court is vested with ample powers under section 561-A of Cr.P.C. to secure the ends of jus­tice. It added, “Furthermore, the High Court is competent to pass proper orders and give consequential directions for preventing the abuse of the process of law for securing the ends of justice. Reliance is placed on the case titled “Sh. Zahoor Ahmad v. The State” [PLD 1974 Lahore 256].”

“In view of the above, while exercising powers under sec­tion 561-A Cr.P.C., the petition­er is directed to approach the learned Lahore High Court, La­hore on Monday i.e.15.05.2023, till then he shall not be ar­rested in criminal cases reg­istered against him on or af­ter 09.05.2023 or M.P.O., etc. (if any), other than the F.I.R. of instant petition,” said the IHC bench. It further said that this order shall cease to exist to the extent of causing arrest and expire automatically after the Court hours of said date i.e. 15.05.2023. 

During the hearing of Al Qa­dir Trust case, Justice Aurang­zeb asked from Imran that if he condemned the violence that ensued after his arrest. The PTI chief’s lawyer replied in the af­firmative. Then, the judge asked Khan to submit a declaration in court stating the same.

The hearing had initially be­gun after a nearly two-hour de­lay because the officials were conducting a security sweep outside the courtroom. But it was halted shortly after it be­gan at 1pm on account of Fri­day prayers. When the hearing resumed, Imran was present in the courtroom alongside his le­gal team and his lawyer Kha­waja Haris presented his argu­ments. Haris adopted the stance before the court that the Na­tional Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) actions were illegal. 

He argued that NAB could only issue an arrest warrant af­ter an inquiry had formally been turned into an investigation. He said that the PTI got to know through media reports that NAB had formally initiated an in­vestigation against Imran. The counsel also said that PTI chief had approached the IHC on May 9 seeking the NAB report in the inquiry but was arrested before he could enter the courtroom.

At one point, the court asked the petitioner if he was pro­vided a questionnaire in con­nection with the case, to which Haris replied in negative. He said that Imran was issued a call-up notice which he did not appear for but instead submit­ted a written reply. Haris fur­ther said that the accountabili­ty watchdog was “biased” at the moment.

Then, Advocate General (AG) Islamabad Barrister Jahangir Ja­doon presented his arguments and defended the government’s decision to bring in the army citing the rising violence in the province, following Khan’s ar­rest. He added that there was no solid reason to bring this mat­ter to the high court in the writ petition. At this Justice Mian­gul said that has martial law been imposed here that we stop hearing all applications?

Addressing the claims made by Khan’s lawyers, the NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi stat­ed that the inquiry had started in July after which a call-up no­tice was issued but Khan nev­er appeared for the inquiry. He also said that notices had also been served to a business ty­coon, Zulfi Bukhari, and others. He added that Mian Muhammad Soomro, Faisal Vawda, and oth­ers who joined the inquiry were also served notices.

Later, the bench accept­ed Imran’s bail petition and also directed the NAB prose­cutor general and Imran’s law­yers to come prepared on the next hearing. It also said that it would decide whether Imran’s bail should be cancelled or ex­tended on the next hearing.

Separately, an IHC bench com­prising Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri and Justice Arbab Mu­hammad Tahir granted the PTI chief protective bail in three ter­rorism cases registered against him in Lahore for 11 days.

During the hearing, the PTI chief informed the court that Interior Minister Rana Sanaul­lah had warned of arresting him again, saying that there was no rule of law in the country cur­rently. Earlier, Justice Jahangi­ri also granted protective bail to Khan in a case pertaining to the death of Zille Shah — a PTI worker who was killed during a party rally in Lahore earlier this year — for 11 days against sure­ty bonds worth Rs50,000.

In an informal conversation with journalists at the IHC, Im­ran said that NAB officials treat­ed him “fine” but hastened to add that he was hit on the head while being arrested.

In response to a question, Khan said, “It is not the security agencies. It’s one man, the army chief and the army is being ma­ligned because of one man.” He added, “There is no democra­cy in Army. The Army is getting maligned what is happening right now. Sadly, the events hap­pened when I was inside and I was only informed afterwords.” 

Responding to another ques­tion, he said that they had no reason to arrest me and he was abducted. He added that and when they took him to jail, there they showed the warrant for the first time. He asserted that this happens in the law of the jungle. 

The PTI Chairman further said that it seems as if martial law has been declared. He add­ed, “When I reached the court yesterday (Thursday), I found out for the first time that 40 helpless people have lost their lives in this. I did not even know about this.”

Talking about violent protests in the country, he said, “How could I have stopped whatev­er happened? I had already told that there would be a reaction to the arrest.” He further said that when he was taken into custody, then how can he be re­sponsible? 

The former prime minister said that he would not resist if his bail petition was rejected. He added that he does not want such a situation to arise again as this is his country and his army. He did not respond to a ques­tion about his experience of be­ing arrested.

However, in response to a question regarding claims that he was given “extraordinary re­lief” compared to other political leaders, he said: “Relief in this way, I am sitting here in the high court, they had no justification to arrest me.” He termed his ar­rest as “abduction.”

Also, PTI Chairman Imran Khan issued a video message on his extended stay at the Is­lamabad High Court, saying that he was being kept there despite the court granting him bail.

“They’ve kidnapped me and forcefully kept me here. I want to tell the whole nation that it is their bad intention, they want to do something again [and] the whole nation should ready it­self” to protest, Imran said.


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday issued stay orders on the indictment proceedings against Pakistan Tehreek-e-In­saf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in Toshakhana (gift reposito­ry) case. A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq conduct­ed hearing of different petitions including seeking stay orders filed by Khan in this matter. He also filed a petition challeng­ing the maintainability of crim­inal proceedings against him in the Toshakhana case filed by the Election Commission of Pa­kistan (ECP).

Besides staying the proceed­ings, the IHC Chief Justice also issued notices to the ECP and other respondents and deferred the hearing till June 8.

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