IHC declares PTI chief's jail trial in cipher case null and void

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday declared null and void the notification of conducting former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief’s jail trial in the cipher case. 

The government issued the notification on Aug 29 last. 

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Riffat Imtiaz announced the verdict which was reserved earlier in the day on the intra-court appeal filed by the PTI chief against his jail trial. 

On Aug 29, the IHC had suspended the PTI chief’s sentence in the Toshakhana case, but a special court constituted under the Official Secrets Act had directed the jail authorities to keep the PTI chairman in “judicial lockup” in the cipher case. 

The court said the notification issued by the law ministry on Nov 13 for the PTI chief’s jail trial was no longer applicable.

On Monday, the IHC extended by one day the stay granted against the proceedings in the trial court. The court heard arguments on the procedure to appoint a judge and the trial in jail. 

Counsel for PTI chief, Salman Akram Raja, argued before the division bench that the procedure adopted for the appointment of the judge was not correct.

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