Islamabad High Court orders Imran’s release on bail in Toshakhana case n Special court approves Imran's judicial remand till today in cipher case n PTI demands immediate release of party leader from jail n Bushra Bibi, Aleema Khan along with legal team meet Imran in Attock Jail.
ISLAMABAD/ATTOCK - A two-judge bench of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday suspended the jail sentence of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and ordered his release on bail in the Toshakhana corruption case.
Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri announced the short order that was reserved in the last hearing after arguments from the two sides. However, the court said that the written order would be issued later on in which reasons for the suspension of the sentence would be mentioned.
Meanwhile, Imran Khan’s legal team also filed a petition to IHC seeking to stop the arrest of the former prime minister in any other case. The petition named NAB, FIA, and police as respondents in the case.
The trial court had announced a three-year jail term along with Rs100,000 fine to the PTI Chief in the Toshakhana criminal case on August 5. Imran Khan was shifted to Attock Jail after being arrested soon after the verdict was announced. Imran Khan had filed the petition challenging his three year sentence in Toshakhana case 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.
The IHC bench in its 9-pges written order stated that in the criminal complaint filed by Election Commission of Pakistan under Section 190 of the Act, the sentence awarded by the trial court to the applicant qualifies as a short sentence. It mentioned that undoubtedly, the Supreme Court of Pakistan in The State v. Oaim Ali Shah (1992 SCMR 2192) has held that “it is not necessary that in every case the sentence is to be suspended and the discretion vests with the High Court to grant or refuse bail.”
The court said that in the referred judgment, the Supreme Court emphasised that the discretion must be, like all other discretions, exercised upon sound judicial principles.
“Keeping in view the referred dictum it is also noted and observed that the sentence of three years generally is regarded as a short sentence and where such is the case the discretion is exercised in favour of the applicant by way of suspension of sentence,” maintained the IHC bench.
The IHC bench mentioned that Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa Senior ASC, was correct in pointing out that in terms of the dictum of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Chairman NAB v. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif (PLD 2019 SC 445) the Supreme Court of Pakistan has deprecated the practice of lengthy judgments in suspension matters. It added that similar observations were made by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Soba Khan vs The State (2016 SCMR 1325).
It added that even otherwise, the arguments raised by both sides as to the jurisdiction and other issues “involve deeper appreciation of the matter which at the stage of suspension is not warranted, especially, where the sentence is a short one, hence though lengthy arguments were address by the parties such questions are not decided and are left to be decided at the stage when the appeal is taken up for adjudication.”
“As noted above, the sentence involved in the instant matter is short, hence we feel that the applicant is entitled to the suspension of sentence and be released on bail,” the high court said.
It continued, “For the above reasons, the instant application is allowed and the sentence awarded by the trial court vide judgment dated 05.08.2023 is suspended; consequently, the applicant is ordered to be released on bail in the instant matter subject to furnishing bail bonds in the sum of Rs.100,000/- with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction the /Deputy Registrar (Judicial) of this Court.”
Imran’s judicial remand till Aug 30 A special court on Tuesday approved the judicial remand of PTI Chairman Imran Khan till August 30, and directed him to produce before it today in cipher case registered under Official Secret Act.
Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain had already sent former prime minister Imran Khan to jail on judicial remand on August 15, and summoned him on August 30, in personal capacity. The court had issued directions to jail superintendent regarding the production of Imran Khan tomorrow. Meanwhile, our correspondent from Attock adds that Imran was not released from Attock Jail. Instead he was sent on judicial remand despite of IHC orders regarding his release from the jail in Toshakhana case. Imran’s legal team was hopeful that he would be released from the jail but the former PM was transferred to judicial lockup.
It is also important to note that no PTI worker was seen outside the jail despite the news about the release of Imran was flashed on the media. Former Premier Imran Khan’s spouse Bushra Bibi and his two sisters Aleema Khan and Uzma Khan, Barrister Rashid Salman also had a meeting with him.
Legal team of Imran Khan consisting of Barrister Umair Khan Niazi and others also came to Attock to meet Imran Khan. Barrister Umair Khan Niazi while talking to newsmen said that Imran Khan Niazi is indicted in almost seventeen cases and we have approached Supreme Court for his immediate release from the jail. Umair Niazi also said that proper facilities not being provided to the former premier.