Islamabad High Court grants bail to ex-PM Imran Khan for two weeks in Al Qadir Trust case - GulfToday

Islamabad High Court grants bail to ex-PM Imran Khan for two weeks in Al Qadir Trust case


Imran Khan (C) gestures as he arrives at the Islamabad High Court on Friday. Twitter photo

Tariq Butt, Correspondent / AP

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted former prime minister and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan interim bail for two weeks in the Al Qadir Trust case.

The IHC has also barred the authorities concerned from arresting the former prime minister in any case, even the unknown cases, till Monday (May 15).

The ruling came as the government and legions of Imran Khan's supporters were on edge after days of violent confrontations sparked by the arrest of the former prime minister earlier this week. The government has vowed it will find a way to take Imran back into custody, a move that would likely cause a resurgence of riots and mob attacks.

Friday's ruling by the IHC gave Imran protection from arrest on one of several corruption cases against him for a period of two weeks, a form of interim bail that usually is renewed in the Pakistan judicial system.

Imran Khan, however, remained in the court after the decision as his lawyers petitioned the judges for similar protection in a number of other corruption charges, trying to close off a legal avenue for the government to arrest him again.  Imran Khan’s chief lawyer, Babar Awan, praised the ruling, and said Khan was now "a free man.”

A short while later, the court said ̛Imran could not be arrested for the time being in other pending corruption cases against him.


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During his stay at the IHC, Imran kept repeating during his interaction with reporters that he would be arrested after the IHC proceedings.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq constituted a two-member bench — comprising Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz — to hear Imran Khan's bail plea in the case.

As the hearing commenced, a lawyer stood up and chanted slogans in favour of the ousted premier.

Expressing its displeasure, the bench said there should be complete silence, with Justice Aurangzeb warning that the case will not be heard if such acts continue. The court then took a break for Friday prayers.

As the hearing resumed, Imran stood up and requested everyone to listen to the proceedings quietly, alleging that an individual "had been planted" to disrupt the proceedings earlier.

Reacting to his remark, Advocate General Islamabad Barrister Jahangir Khan Jadoon raised an objection and questioned why the PTI chief was levelling allegations.

"I am sorry but I did not say anything about you," replied Imran.

Imran1-Court-Bail Policemen escort Imran Khan (C) as he arrives at the Islamabad High Court. AFP

Khwaja Haris, representing the PTI chief, came to the rostrum and stated that Khan had written to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for a copy of the inquiry in the Al-Qadir Trust case. "We came to know through the media that the inquiry has been converted into an investigation," he said.

The lawyer added that the manner in which the inquiry was converted into an investigation, the aim was to "arrest Imran immediately."

Haris furthered that the NAB can convert an inquiry into an investigation only if there is sufficient evidence. "A notice was sent to me on March 2 to which I replied," he said, adding that in his reply, he informed NAB that the notice was not sent as per the requirements of the NAB Ordinance.

Haris argued that the NAB has to inform the individual whether the summons is as an accused or as a witness, adding that if a person has been summoned as an accused, the bureau has to explain the charges.

The court then inquired if the PTI counsel was sent a questionnaire. To this, Haris replied that the questionnaire was not sent, however, he had sought further information. He added that in the Toshakhana case, a notice was sent to him in the same manner which he challenged in the same court. "This court declared these notices illegal," said Haris.

He added that Imran was arrested, and an inquiry report was then provided. However, on April 28, the inquiry was converted into an investigation.

Advocate General Jadoon then commenced his arguments and said that he will not discuss the merits of the case, but read Article 245 of the Constitution instead. "The high court cannot hear a case in an area where the army has been summoned under Article 245 [calling army in aid of civil power],” he added.

Expressing displeasure, the bench asked the advocate general if the court should do away with all writ petitions due to Article 245.

Justice Aurangzeb then questioned if martial law had been imposed. To this, Jadoon replied the army was called to aid in the restoration of law and order following violent protests.

The court then summoned NAB Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi to the rostrum. Abbasi informed the bench that "Imran never appeared before the bureau."

The prosecutor informed the court that former accountability czar Shahzad Akbar was also sent a notice but he did not join the inquiry.

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