Justice Aamer Farooq says court will announce decision on appeal against Toshakhana verdict on Monday n Judge Humayun Dilawar who convicted ex-PM transferred, made OSD n Bushra asks SC to take notice of her husband’s declining health in jail.
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE - Amid strong protest by the lawyers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday once again deferred the hearing in an appeal of Imran Khan against his conviction in Toshakhana criminal case till Monday.
The court put of the hearing in PTI Chairman’s appeal against his conviction, as the lawyer representing the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) failed to appear before the court due to his sickness.
A division bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri conducted hearing of the petition moved by Imran Khan who filed the petition through his counsels including Barrister Ali Zafar, Sardar Latif Khosa Advocate, Babar Awan, Salman Akram Raja Advocate, Shoaib Shaheen Advocate, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan Advocate and others while he cited district election commissioner as respondent. Barrister Ali Zafar, Salman Akram Raja, Barrister Gohar, Babar Awan, Latif Khosa and Sher Afzal Marwat were among Imran’s counsels who appeared before the court to represent Imran Khan while Imran’s sisters Aleema Khan and Uzma Khan were also present in the courtroom as well.
The IHC bench stated in its written order that the proxy counsel seeks an adjournment on behalf of the counsel for the respondent (ECP) on account of his ailment which has been vehemently opposed by Imran Khan’s counsel. It also said, “In the interest of justice, the request is allowed and the matter is relisted for 28.08.2023. In case the learned counsel holding brief is not well on the date fixed the respondent shall make alternate arrangements.” During the hearing, the ECP legal counsel Amjad Parvaiz did not appear before the bench, citing ill health. His assistant advocate requested the bench for an adjournment saying that for the last eight months, they never sought any adjournment. He said that doctors had suggested Parvaiz bed rest.
At this, Justice Aamer said that the request for suspension of sentence is now at a critical stage and the arguments would have been completed in fifteen to twenty minutes. The assistant lawyer then replied that “such a situation can occur with anyone.” At this, Khosa responded, “No, this cannot happen with anyone. I was unwell yesterday but I still appeared.”
Chief Justice observed that these are extremely wrong moves and arguments could have been presented just for a total of 10 minutes. Khosa said that he is also a senior lawyer and has the power of attorney as well while the ECP’s own lawyers are also present. Addressing the Chief Justice, Khosa said that they only have to assist. About the rest, you are answerable to God. A man is inside [the jail] for the past 20 days.
The court noted that the division bench does not hear cases on Friday but had come to the court only for this case. Addressing the court, Khosa said that you can do what you want then. I will not appear in your court. You are not even ready for suspending the sentence.
The IHC Chief Justice observed that what the trial court did was wrong. He added, “We will adjourn this case till Monday and even if no one appears, we will decide on it [that day].”
Khosa asked, “Then, will you keep PTI chairman behind the bars for another three days?” Then, he left the rostrum in protest, saying, “Then we will not appear before the court. You can do what you want.”
Later, the IHC bench accepted the ECP lawyer’s plea and adjourned the hearing till Monday for further hearing.
‘OFFICER ON SPECIAL DUTY’
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday made Additional District and Sessions Judge Humayun Dilawar, who convicted Imran Khan Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, an officer on special duty (OSD). The ADS Dilawar had convicted Chairman PTI and handed him down a three-year jail term on charges of corrupt practices and misstatement in Toshakhana gifts sale case. The development came hours after Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Aamer Farooq observed that the trial court, which sentenced the former prime minister in the Toshakhana case, “did wrong”. According to a notification issued by the Islamabad High Court additional registrar, “The honourable Chief Justice of this court has been pleased to make following transfer/posting of ADSJ working in the Islamabad Judicial Service, in the public interest.”
As per the notification, Additional District and Sessions Judge Humayun Dilawar has now been asked to report to Islamabad High Court (IHC). It added, “The Judicial Officer shall join his new assignment with immediate effect.”
ATC allows police to interrogate Imran in another case
An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday allowed police to interrogate Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in one more case related to the May 9 vandalism.
The investigation officer had filed an application before the court, submitting that Imran Khan was nominated in a case registered by the Gulberg police for torching a container and attacking police but he had not joined the investigations yet. The officer submitted that he needed to interrogate Imran Khan after addition of offences under Section 131( Abetting mutiny or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty) , 121 (Waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan) and others of Pakistan Penal Code.
He pleaded with the court to grant permission to interrogate Imran Khan, who was confined at Attock District jail. ATC Judge Ejaz Ahmad Buttar accepted the application and granted permission to interrogate him. The judge had already allowed police to interrogate Imran Khan in six other cases related to the May 9 violence, besides permission to arrest and interrogate him in the Jinnah House attack case.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi Friday urged the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take ‘serious notice’ of the alleged threat to her husband’s life, citing ‘considerable decline’ in his health in prison. In this regard, Bushra Bibi, former first lady, filed an affidavit stating that she was allowed to meet Imran “after unwarranted delays and difficulties” on Tuesday at the Attock jail. The document added that “during the course of the meeting, the petitioner expressed his determination to stand for the Constitution and the rule of law in Pakistan and to offer any sacrifice and suffer any privation or hardship for his beloved country”. She also highlighted that there’s a “significant decline in the petitioner’s health” and that he “appears to have lost weight substantially during the course of his confinement, particularly loss of muscles around his arms”. “Such a decline in the health of a person in his 70s can be a serious danger to his life,” it stated. She concluded by urging the SC to take notice of Imran’s deteriorating health and the serious threats to his life in prison. It is pertinent to note that Bushra had raised similar concerns in a letter to the Punjab government last week, in which she said that she fears that her husband could be “poisoned” in Attock jail. On August 5, an Islamabad trial court convicted Imran in a case pertaining to concealing details of state gifts and sentenced him to three years in prison.