ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice (CJ) Justice Aamer Farooq said on Wednesday that if a case similar to the US cipher case was being heard in a trial court, then let the latter decide the case; the high court would not stand in its way.
During the hearing of former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran’s petition against the cipher case’s hearing inside District Jail, Attock, the CJ said that if the trial court gave its decision in the case, the petition in the IHC would cease to be effective. “Whatever decision the court gives in the case, the party losing will appeal it,” he remarked.
Counsel for Imran Advocate Sher Afzal Marwat as well as the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) lawyers appeared in the court.
The latter requested the court to grant them one-week time to file their replies in the case.
Advocate Marwat said that during hearing of the case in the trial court, FIA lawyers had opposed granting bail to PTI chairman, saying no bail could be granted unless the IHC gave its decision in the case. “Now after buying time from the high court, they would take the same stance in the trial court,” he added.
CJ Farooq said that August 30 was given as the date in the notification for changing place of the hearing. “The question now is whether the next hearing will be held inside the jail or was the notification meant for just one hearing,” he remarked.
The prosecutor said that the court had to be moved to the jail in order to seek extension in the judicial remand of PTI chairman.
The CJ asked what was the next date for the case’s hearing?
Imran’s lawyer, on the occasion, said the point to be noted was that whether another notification would be issued on September 13.
The prosecutor said that in this regard he would receive instructions from the government, and would let the court know accordingly.
CJ Farooq remarked that the court had to be moved to the judicial complex from F-8 on PTI chief’s request. “The question is when the Ministry of Interior is a relevant ministry in this regard, why did the law ministry issue a notification?
Imran’s lawyer told the chief justice that he had filed his client’s bail petition in the trial court. “There the prosecutor took the stance that since the IHC was already hearing the case; therefore the trial court could not hear it,” Advocate Marwat said, adding, “The trial court’s judge, on the other hand, said that he was ready to hear the case provided the prosecutor withdrew the petition from the high court.”
He went on to say that he had told the court that the bail petition it was hearing had nothing to do with the petition being heard by the IHC.
Adjourning the case’s hearing until September 12, the CJ said that if arguments were completed on the next hearing, the court would pronounce the verdict on that date.
Court issues notice to prosecution on Imran’s bail pleas
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday issued a notice to the prosecution on bail pleas of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and adjourned further hearing of the case till September 14.
The case was heard by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri.
The petitioner’s lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar appeared before the court.
“The trial court disposed of the pre-arrest bail plea due to the lack of prosecution. The bail plea was disposed of in the absence of the accused,” Salman Safdar said.
“Section 435 of CrPC states that the high court as well as the sessions court have the power to seek the court records,” he added.
“The PTI chairman was granted bail in nine cases of May 9 incidents, judicial complex attack and forgery and five other cases of similar charges,” he told the court.
“The anti-terrorism court judges were changed before ruling on three other cases. The PTI chairman continued to appear before the court in all hearings. The court granted more time to the prosecution to produce evidence in three cases,” he added.
“Meanwhile, the PTI chairman was convicted in the Toshakhana case and sent to jail. Our request was the PTI chairman should be produced in the court,” he further told the court.
“Has the PTI chairman been arrested in these cases?” Justice Tariq Jahangiri questioned.
“According to my information, the PTI chairman has not been arrested in these cases,” the lawyer replied.
“How is it possible that the bail has been disposed of but no arrest has been made?” Justice Tariq Jahangiri further questioned.
“Let us call the other party and ask whether he was arrested or not. If the arrest has been made, a post-arrest bail plea will have to be filed. If the arrest has not been made, you will present arguments on your plea,” Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri remarked.
“We are seeking a reply in the case by issuing a notice on your petition,” IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq said to Salman Safdar.
“If it is said that the arrest has been made, my case is still there,” Salman Safdar emphasised.
“Let the answer come first. We will hear your arguments then,” Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri said.
“The PTI chairman should not be arrested in these cases after today,” Salman Safdar pleaded with the court.
The hearing of the case was then adjourned till Thursday.