Toshakhana case: IHC suspends arrest warrants of Imran Khan

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court Tuesday suspended the arrest warrants PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan issued by a local court in Toshakhana case.

The Islamabad High Court announced a reserved verdict on a petition filed by Imran Khan seeking the cancellation of his non-bailable arrest warrants.

The IHC ordered Khan to appear before the trial court on March 13. The IHC said if Khan fails to appear before the trial court on March 13 then the court should proceed according to the law and should start the process to declare Khan a proclaimed offender.

The PTI lawyer told the IHC chief justice that Imran Khan was ready to appear before the court in four weeks’ time and sought a month’s time for his client.

Justice Farooq remarked it means that Imran is also not appearing before the IHC on March 9. He said it seems that his earlier observation that Imran would not appear for two months is true.

“Then I will ask the trial court to initiate proceedings to declare Imran a ‘proclaimed offender’ in the case,” the judge added.

Earlier, while hearing the petition on Tuesday, the IHC gave 30 minutes to the PTI legal team to tell the court when the former prime minister was appearing before the local court.

Imran Khan filed an application in Islamabad High Court seeking cancellation of non-bailable arrest warrants against him. IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the petition.

At the outset of the hearing, Imran’s lawyers Ali Bukhari and Qaiser Imam requested the court to cancel the PTI chief’s arrest warrants.

However, the judge remarked that the warrants were not issued for arrests but they were issued to summon Imran to frame charges against him in the Toshakhana case.

The CJ remarked that Imran should personally appear before the court for the indictment. “The PTI leader should be fair with the system. Do not make fun of the system. The court will not pass any order that is out of normal practice,” Justice Farooq added.

The judge said that according to the trial court, Imran did not appear before it even today despite the summons. “You are not ready to appear in the court,” CJ Farooq rued.

PTI chairman’s lawyer told the court that hype has been created to arrest his client and he is facing security threats. He requested the court to cancel Imran’s arrest warrants.

The chief justice remarked “Do you remember former premier Benazir Bhutto’s incident? What happened there? There was a crowd. No one knew who entered the crowd, with what intention. When you come with 2,000 people, things will go bad. On merit, you will get nothing on your application. Tell me on which date, Imran Khan will appear the court.”

On this, the PTI lawyers sought half an hour time from the court for holding a consultation with Imran Khan.

A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Feb 28 had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Imran Khan for his continuous absence during court hearings in the Toshakhana case.

In his application filed in IHC on Tuesday, Imran Khan urged the court to conduct hearing today.

The latest development came a day after the district and sessions court in Islamabad had rejected Imran Khan’s plea to cancel the arrest warrants.

Retaining the arrest warrants, Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal pronounced the ruling on Monday. The petition was filed in the court of Judge Zafar Iqbal who had issued Imran’s non-bailable arrest warrants on Feb 28 following his continuous non-appearance before the court in the Toshakhana case in which his indictment was due.

Imran’s lawyer Ali Bukhari and others were also present in the district court.

The Islamabad police on Sunday reached Zaman Park, Lahore to arrest the PTI chief in compliance with the court orders but left empty-handed as Imran Khan remained elusive and dodged the police.

Courtesy: (24news)