Pakistan’s High Court confirms that ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrest is ‘lawful’

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday evening confirmed the arrest of Imran Khanclaiming that all legal formalities were completed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) when the former Prime Minister was arrested, dashing his party’s hopes.
The court issued its reserved ruling, upsetting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which claimed the arrest was unlawful and that the IHC would rule in favor of party leader Imran Khan.
The Islamabad High Court summoned senior officials and police on Tuesday after paramilitary Rangers dramatically arrested former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in a corruption case at the court’s premises, but reserved a decision.
Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Aamer Farooq learned of the arrest by Paramilitary Rangers when the leader of the PTI party was in court to biometrically mark his presence before the start of the hearing of a corruption case.
Khan, 70, who traveled from Lahore to the federal capital Islamabad, was arrested after Rangers smashed the window and arrested him after beating lawyers and Khan’s security staff.
The cricketer-turned-politician’s arrest comes a day after the mighty military accused him of making baseless allegations against a senior officer of the ISI spy agency.
The IHC summoned various officials and heard arguments about the propriety of the arrest and whether it was legal to arrest anyone inside the courthouse.
After hearing the case, the Chief Justice reserved judgment.
The Chief Justice initially ordered the Home Secretary, the Inspector General (IG) of Islamabad Police and other officials to come and respond to the arrest within 15 minutes.
The Chief Justice added that he was showing “restraint” in the matter and warned to summon the prime minister if Islamabad’s police chief does not show up.
“Come to court and tell us why Imran was arrested and in what case,” Judge Farooq said.
IG Akbar Nasir Khan duly appeared in court and said Khan had been arrested by the NAB in a case involving him and his wife, Bushra Bibi, for alleged corruption.
Khan’s lawyer, Faisal Chaudhry, told the court that the PTI leader was illegally arrested while present inside the court to register his biometric attendance.
Barrister Gohar Khan, another lawyer for Khan, claimed the cricketer-turned-politician was hit in the head with an iron bar and injured in the leg during the arrest.
Khawaja Harris, Khan’s other lawyer, said the court should take action against NAB because Khan was arrested from inside the court, a violation of the court’s sanctity.
After hearing from attorneys, the Chief Justice summoned NAB officials before taking a break. When the court reconvened, NAB Chief Executive Rawalpindi Mirza Irfan Baig appeared with NAB Deputy Attorney General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi.
Abbasi told the court the anti-corruption watchdog was within its legal right to arrest Khan, who had not been involved in investigating the case.
“A defendant can be arrested from anywhere if he shows resistance,” he said.
Attorney Harris supported NAB’s argument saying the arrest was made in violation of the rules and the court should take action.
“The court should overturn the arrest as illegal and order the NBA to immediately release Imran Khan,” he said.
Supporters of the former prime minister stormed the Pakistani army headquarters in the garrison town of Rawalpindi and the corps commander’s residence in Lahore after Khan’s dramatic arrest.
Khan has faced a slew of cases since being ousted by a vote of no confidence in April last year. He dismissed all these cases as political victimization by the ruling alliance.
Currently, Khan said he is facing more than 140 cases related to terrorism, blasphemy, murder, violence and incitement to violence.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GreenLeaf Tw2sl