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Tuesday, April 16, 2024  
07 Shawwal 1445  

Arrest warrants issued for Imran Khan in Toshakhana, judge threatening cases

To be produced in Islamabad March 29 for threatening judge
Security personnel guards former prime minister Imran Khan (C) after he appeared at the court in Islamabad on February 28, 2023. AFP
Security personnel guards former prime minister Imran Khan (C) after he appeared at the court in Islamabad on February 28, 2023. AFP

Two non-bailable arrest warrants were issued for Imran Khan on Monday after he failed to appear in court in Toshakhana and judge threatening cases.

Judge threatening case

A district and sessions court in Islamabad issued on Monday non-bailable arrest warrants for PTI chief Imran Khan for threatening a woman judge.

Civil judge Rana Mujahid Rahim ordered the police to arrest Imran and present him on March 29. He issued the arrest warrants after Imran failed to appear during court hours.

Imran’s lawyer Naeem Panjhota filed a petition seeking an exemption for his client from appearing in court, citing security fears.

PTI Chairman Imran condemned the police as well as the judiciary at the party rally on August 20 over the alleged custodial torture of Shahbaz Gill. He had announced that his party would file cases against Inspector General of Police Dr Akbar Nasir Khan, the DIG and Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry.

Civil judge Mujahid Rahim had adjourned the hearing till 12:30pm after Imran did not show up.

When the hearing resumed, the judge again extended the time for Imran’s appearance and said: “A petition seeking exemption has been filed by Imran. We can wait till the timing of court ends. If Imran Khan did not appear then non-bailable arrest warrants will be issued.”

Imran’s lawyer filed a bail petition in the court, saying that such a request does not presence of the suspect.

The court has summoned Imran to continue the proceedings of indictment, the judge said.

Later, the court rejected Imran’s plea and issued arrest warrants for him.

Toshakhana case

A district and sessions court rejected Imran Khan’s petition for exemption from the court hearing and restored the non-bailable arrest warrants issued for him.

The court directed the police to present Imran in court on March 18. “The police should conduct investigations as per law,” the court said.

The court announced the reserved decision on the petition filed by Imran’s lawyer Khawaja Haris. It contended that the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) complaint was inadmissible.

Additional District and Sessions judge Zafar Iqbal presided over the hearing.

Imran’s lawyer Khawaja Haris appeared instead of him. PML-N lawyer Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha also appeared.

At the outset of the hearing, Haris urged the court that his client would not appear. “It is not that Imran Khan is not appearing deliberately,” he said, citing security fears.

The lawyer said that his client was still injured after he was attacked in Wazirabad in November. Imran survived an assassination attempt during anti-government protests dubbed “Azadi March” in 2022.

They have filed petitions in the Lahore and Islamabad high courts.

The complaint against Imran was filed by the district election commission not the ECP, Haris said and asked the court what would be the procedure if the country’s top electoral authority wanted to send the complaint.

ECP lawyer Saad Hasan urged the court to implement the arrest warrants. The high court has written that the court would act as per the law if Imran does not appear in front of the court on March 13, Hasan said.

The former premier’s counsel said that he did not request the cancellation of arrest warrants of Imran. “Court warrant orders are on-field and can be executed at any time,” he said.

Haris mentioned the incidents of former prime ministers Liaquat Ali Khan and Benazir Bhutto. He added that a video link request has been filed in the high court. But, he said the ECP filed the petition after 120 days.

“The ECP does not have the prerogative. This matter should be seen as a huge scam,” he said and urged the court to dismiss the application.

Later, the court reserved the judgement after the completion of the arguments.

Toshakhana case

An Islamabad district and sessions court issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Imran Khan over persistent absences in the Toshakhana case on February 28. Earlier, the court had twice deferred the former premier’s indictment on medical grounds.

Additional District and Sessions Court judge Zafar Iqbal had adjourned the hearing of the case till March 7.

The reference was filed by lawmakers from the ruling coalition, Pakistan Democratic Movement, last year. It alleges that Imran had not shared details of the state gifts he retained from the Toshaskhana (during his time as the prime minister) and proceeds from their reported sales.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) concluded on October 21 that ex-PM Imran had made “false statements and incorrect declarations” regarding the gifts.

The Toshakhana is a department under the Cabinet Division that stores gifts given to rulers and government officials by heads of other governments and foreign dignitaries. According to Toshakhana rules, gifts/presents and other such materials received by persons to whom these rules apply shall be reported to the Cabinet Division.

The country’s top electoral authority’s order had said Imran stood disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution.

“He is for the time being disqualified from being elected or chosen as a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or of a Provincial Assembly under any law for the time being in force,” said the law which falls under the Disqualifications for membership of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).

Later, the ECP approached the Islamabad district and session the court with a copy of the reference. It sought proceedings against Imran under criminal law for allegedly misleading officials about the state gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his time as the prime minister.

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