IHC reserves judgement on Imran’s plea of cancelling arrest warrant

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday reserved judgement on petition of Imran Khan, seeking to cancel arrest warrant issued by lower court in Toshakhana case.

Khan’s lawyers had sought 4 weeks time for their client to appear in the court which was refused by the CJ IHC, saying that it showed Khan would not appear in the High Court as well on March 9.

The PTI Chief had challenged a local court’s decision — against the suspension of his arrest warrant in the Toshakhana case against him — in the Islamabad High Court. Just a day earlier, additional sessions judge Zafar Iqbal had rejected the request of the former prime minister seeking the suspension of a non-bailable arrest warrant against him issued in the Toshakhana case for his continued absence.

Khan, in the petition filed in the IHC, requested the suspension of his arrest warrant. He also sought an immediate hearing of the petition today, which was accepted by the IHC.

During the course of proceedings today, Imran’s lawyers — Ali Bukhari and Qaiser Imam — urged the court to cancel the PTI chief’s arrest warrants. However, the court remarked that the warrants were not issued for arrests but to frame charges against Imran in the Toshakhana case.

Imran Khan’s lawyer said his client was faced with security threats, to which Chief Justice IHC Justice Aamer Farooq said “I too have threats, should I shut down court? We have prepared a security plan for both the high court and the sessions court.”

Referring to the episode that happened at judicial complex when appeared with a huge crowed to get bail, the CJ IHC remarked “you increase the risks yourself, on the previous appearance, anything could have happened in the gathering outside the courts, can the intention of every person be judged?”

He further remarked “IG came to me and told that all judges have security threats so they should get security, how could I put the public at risk and enjoy security?” adding that “be fair, do not flop system, If we provide concession to Khan, we would have to give the same relief to every citizen.”

He further said “on merit, you will not get any relief.”

Justice Aamer Faoorq asked as to how the trial could proceed further in absence of the accused, to which Imran’s lawyers suggested to use video link. The CJ IHC said ‘no precedent could be set which becomes impractical for future,” adding that Khan would have to appear in the court.

Imran’s lawyers told court to grant half an hour time so that they could take directives and apprise the bench, to which the CJ said “I could re-fix the case for tomorrow morning.” However the proceedings were later adjourned for half an hour with IHC Chief Justice asking lawyers Ali Bukhari and Qaiser Imam to tell when Khan could appear in court for indictment.

After the break, Khan’s lawyers sought 4 weeks time. The Chief Justice of IHC rejected the request, to which the lawyers rested their case at the mercy of the court, after which the judgement was reserved.

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