IHC quashes terrorism charges against Imran

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered the prosecution to remove the terrorism clauses from a case registered against PTI Chairman Imran Khan for hurling threats at a female sessions judge and police officials during a public rally in Islamabad.
The court also ordered that the case against the PTI chief would continue to proceed under other clauses at relevant forums. Earlier, the court reserved the verdict in the petition seeking quashing of terrorism case against PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
A two-judge IHC bench headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the petition on Monday . At the outset of the case hearing, the JIT submitted its report to the Islamabad High Court regarding its decision on the terrorism case against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan concluding that the team vouched for the terror case against the former premier.
During the hearing, the chief justice asked the special prosecutor about the JIT decision regarding inclusion of terror clauses in the case against Imran Khan. The prosecutor told the court that the JIT was of the view that the terrorism case against the PTI chief was justified. Special prosecutor Rizwan Abbasi and Imran’s lawyer Salman Safdar appeared before the court. The court ordered Imran Khan’s lawyer to give arguments on the expulsion of the case application.
Imran Khan’s lawyer gave several references of the Supreme Court decisions saying that in the light of apex court’s decisions, there shouldn’t be any terrorism case against Imran Khan. Salman Safdar wondered what image this case would portray of Pakistan in the world. However, Chief Justice Minallah asked the lawyer to give relevant arguments only.
The court then ordered the prosecutor to read the transcript of Imran Khan’s speech, especially that part which pertained to the threatening sentences. The prosecutor read out those sentences of Imran’s speech in which the latter threatened: “Shame on IG and DIG, we will not leave you, we will file a case…Magistrate Zeba, get ready, we will take action against you.” Chief Justice Minallah inquired if those were the only sentences! Imran’s lawyer said that a joke was made of the provisions of terrorism after inserting them in a case against Imran. He said that Imran only warned the female judge and police officers of a legal action. On this, the CJ inquired if Imran’s conversation was not an attempt to influence the pending investigation in a case.
The lawyer said until the filing of this application for the expulsion of the case, it did not include any other clauses other than terrorism clauses. Prosecutor Abbasi told the court that Section 186 was removed from the case against Imran while Section 189 (threatening to injure a police officer) was added to the case. Imran’s lawyer argued that these clauses did not entail for registration of a terror case against his client. He said that it was written in the case that Imran threatened a judge and police officers in his statement and created a sense of panic among public by his utterances.
Safdar said that Imran had submitted two replies to the police but when they were not satisfied with his replies, he personally appeared before them. He said Imran had stated that he did not mean to threaten anyone and expressed his regret. He deplored that after doing all this, the prosecution still wanted to retain terror clauses against the PTI chief in the case.