PTI founder Imran Khan, others acquitted in Azadi March vandalism case

The sessions court on Monday acquitted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf founder Imran Khan, lawmaker Zartaj Gul and others in the Azadi March vandalism case. 

Judicial Magistrate Mureed Abbas Khan conducted Monday's hearing and announced the reserved verdict. 

In 2022, vandalism cases were registered by the Karachi Company police against PTI founder Imran Khan, lawmaker Zartaj Gul, former PTI leader Asad Umar, Faisal Javed, Ali Nawaz Awan and Saifullah Niazi in connection with Azadi March. 

During the proceedings, Naeem Panjotha, the counsel for the PTI, argued before the judge that the FIR had been filed by an unauthorised person, adding that if the basis of an FIR was wrong, how the case could proceed. 

The lawyer contended that the authority to file the case rested only with the person who imposed Section 144. 

He argued that no video evidence could be presented against Imran Khan in the instant case. 

The counsel maintained that FIRs were registered against peaceful protesters and 19 cases of the same nature were registered against Khan in different police stations. 

Panjotha requested the court to acquit the PTI founder since the allegations made against him were baseless. He also informed the court that the cases instituted against Imran Khan were all politically motivated. 

The counsel insisted that the protest called by Khan was peaceful. He said trees had caught fire due to the police shelling and were not torched by any protester. 

He requested the court to honourably acquit the PTI chief and other accused. 

After the arguments were completed, the court reserved the verdict on the acquittal pleas.

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