Pakistan’s Supreme Court orders NAB to produce Imran Khan within an hour

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the anti-corruption watchdog to produce former prime minister Imran Khan within an hour, as it observed the agency was in “contempt of court” by entering court premises and arresting him without the permission of the court clerk.
The directive was issued by a three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Athar Minallah, which heard Pakistan President Tehreek-e-Insaf’s plea against his arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case Tuesday.
The bench at the hearing expressed anger over how 70-year-old Khan was arrested at the Islamabad High Court premises where he had come from Lahore for a case.
The bench ordered NAB to produce Khan by 4:30 p.m. local time when the court would reconvene.
At the start of the hearing, Chief Justice Bandial asked how an individual could be arrested on court premises. Judge Minallah observed that Khan had indeed entered the court premises. “How can someone be denied the right to justice?” He asked.
The court also observed that no one could be arrested by the court without the permission of the court clerk. She also observed that arrest amounted to denying access to justice without fear or intimation, which was the right of every citizen.
He also said that entering a courthouse means going to court and how a person could be arrested after surrendering. “If an individual goes to court, what does it mean to arrest him?” said the Chief Justice.
Khan’s lawyer, Hamid Khan, informed this court that his client approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to seek bail before the arrest, but was arrested by paramilitary Rangers.
“Rangers misbehaved with Imran Khan and arrested him,” the lawyer said.
The court also took note of around 90 to 100 Rangers personnel entering the court to arrest Khan. “What dignity remains in the court if 90 people enter its premises? How can an individual be arrested on court premises? asked the Chief Justice.
Chief Justice Bandial also observed at one point that the National Accountability Office was in “contempt of court”. “They should have obtained permission from the court clerk before the arrest. Court staff members were also victims of abuse,” he said.
Khan was arrested by the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday and a liability court handed him over to the National Accountability Bureau for eight days on Wednesday in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust case.
The former prime minister approached the Supreme Court on Wednesday to quash NAB’s May Day arrest warrants and to challenge the Islamabad High Court’s decision to declare the arrest “unlawful”.
Earlier, the IHC expressing anger over the way Khan was arrested confirmed his arrest hours after his abduction.


Leave a Reply

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

GreenLeaf Tw2sl