Aaj English TV

Monday, October 02, 2023  
15 Rabi ul Awal 1445  

Imran leaves court after all possibilities of arrest eliminated

PTI chief waited for the written order on the court premises
Policemen escort former PM Imran Khan (C) as he arrives at the high court in Islamabad on May 12, 2023. AFP
Policemen escort former PM Imran Khan (C) as he arrives at the high court in Islamabad on May 12, 2023. AFP
PTI chief Imran Khan arrives at the Islamabad High Court on May 12, 2023. Screengrab via Aaj News
PTI chief Imran Khan arrives at the Islamabad High Court on May 12, 2023. Screengrab via Aaj News
Rangers cordon off the High Court for the arrival of Pakistan’s former PM Imran Khan in Islamabad on May 12, 2023. AFP
Rangers cordon off the High Court for the arrival of Pakistan’s former PM Imran Khan in Islamabad on May 12, 2023. AFP
A car carries Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, as he arrives to appear before the Supreme Court in Islamabad on May 11, 2023. AFP
A car carries Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, as he arrives to appear before the Supreme Court in Islamabad on May 11, 2023. AFP
Detained former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan is due to appear in court on Friday, after the Supreme Court rules his arrest as unlawful. AFP
Detained former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan is due to appear in court on Friday, after the Supreme Court rules his arrest as unlawful. AFP


  • Imran Khan gets interim bail for two weeks in Al-Qadir case
  • Court bars authorities from arresting PTI chief till May 17 in any case registered against him after May 9
  • Justice Aurangzeb directs ex-PM to submit a declaration condemning violence following the arrest
  • Khan granted 10-day protective bail in Zille Shah murder case
  • Court also stops authorities from arresting Khan in ATA cases fo ten, approves bail in all cases registered against him in Lahore
  • This means he can now travel to Lahore without being arrested
  • Law experts believe blanket relief is unusual and only a written order could clarify if this was the case
  • Written orders were awaited and Imran Khan refuses to leave the court premises until it arrives
  • Earlier, the former premier told reporters he feared re-arrest, said ‘one person responsible for all incidents’
  • Imran’s departure from court was delayed due to security clearance

Imran Khan left the Islamabad High Court hours after host of written orders eliminated all possibilities of his arrest on Monday. He cannot be arrested even under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) law that governments have often applied against rival politicians.

Imran Khan waited on the court premises for the written orders hours after multiple benches of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had heard his bail applications. He was finally ushered out via the judge’s gate after 10 pm.

A division bench of the Islamabad High Court granted on Friday PTI chief Imran Khan bail in a corruption case involving Al Qadir Trust land for two weeks. The two-member bench also ordered that the former prime minister should not be arrested in any case registered after May 9—the day when he was taken into custody by paramilitary forces from the premises of IHC—till May 17.

The decision will apply to the limits of Islamabad, said the short orders. A detailed order is awaited that would further explain the details of the cases. Imran has been asked to furnish bail bonds worth Rs50,000 to secure the bail.

This led to the possibility that Imran Khan will not leave the federal capital and stay at his Banigala residence. However, the court later granted him protective bail in several other cases, paving the way for Khan’s travel to Lahore without the fear of being arrested.

Still, Khan decided to stay on court premises until a written order was received as there was a remote possibility that authorities may arrest him under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) law. The orders were finally issued at around 7pm covering all the cases heard at the court. One of the orders clearly stated that Khan “shall not be arrested in criminal cases registered against him on or after 09.05.2023 or M.P.O., etc.”

The court ordered four separate written orders in the evening, three extending his bail till May 22 while the another told him to approach Lahore High Court on May 15.

“the High Court is competent to pass proper orders and give consequential directions for preventing the abuse of the process of law for securing the ends of justice,” one of the orders read.

The orders also mentioned that the police had told the court that they do not intend on arresting Imran Khan but the PTI chief had expressed a fear that he would be arrested when he arrived in Lahore, leading to his right of approaching court be jeopardized.

The orders also mention that Imran expressed that he might be arrested for cases related to protests that took place while he was in custody. Therefore the order said that he should not be arrested in cases registered against him on or after May 9, the day of his arrest.

Firing around IHC as Imran waits to leave

Having received the written orders, Khan prepared to leave the court premises pending security clearance. However, the police officials said that the clearance ‘from above’ was yet to be received.

Meanwhile, there were reports of aerial firing around the premises of the court leading to a delay in Imran’s departure.

Amid reports that Imran Khan’s security was not being allowed inside court premises, Islamabad’s IG met the PTI chief to discuss his plans for leaving. However, the talks reportedly failed and Imran Khan gave a call for protest.

However, minutes later after TV channels aired the report about Imran’s call, there were reports that Imran had exited through the judges’ gate.

A security team of Islamabad Police accompanied Imran Khan to the Islamabad Toll Plaza, from where Imran and his team went on alone.

In a video posted to Twitter, Imran said that the IG had done his ‘best’ to stop him.

He also added that he had told the IG that he would tell the whole country that he was kidnapped. Imran added that when he finally made it out, the roads were free of any purported danger.

Imran comes to court

The PTI chief was brought from the Police Lines Guest House to the court amid tight security. Members of the Insaf lawyers federation chanted slogans as paramilitary forces took the PTI chief to the diary room for biometrics. He was then taken to the courtroom.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz of the IHC heard the pre-arrest bail pleas of Khan. The case was shifted to courtroom number 3 due to a rush in room 2. The formation of the bench quashed the rumours that a specific judge would be on the bench to grant bail to the ex-PM.

Along with the Al-Qadir Trust case, Khan’s lawyers also filed additional bail pleas in cases registered against him in Lahore.

The police tightened security outside the court with routes leading to it blocked by shipping containers. The Rangers, FC, and police were deployed. The police banned the entry of irrelevant persons into the court.

During the hearing, Justice Aurangzeb asked Khan if he condemned the violence that ensued his arrest. To this, the PTI chief’s lawyer replied in the affirmative. The judge then asked the ex-premier to submit an explicit declaration in court stating the same.

Khan’s lawyer Salman Safdar told the court that his client’s arrest would be a threat to the maintenance of public order and the government would be responsible for the “tense” situation. But the attorney general opposed it and maintained that legally anyone can be arrested.

Bail in Al Qadir Trust case

At the outset of the hearing, lawyers chanted slogans in favour of Khan. The bench expressed its displeasure with the slogans and left the courtroom.

“Respect for the court is very important,” Justice Mian Gul Hasan said and wondered how the court would hear the case in such an environment. Later, the court adjourned the case.

Lawyers of the PTI and the government had a heated argument as both parties met for the case after the break. Khan stood up in the courtroom and called upon the counsels to have patience. He was of the view that in the past also a “slogan caused damage”.

When the hearing resumed, Khawaja Harris, who was representing Khan in the case, argued in favour of the pre-arrest bail. “This petition is in front of the court. Imran Khan was arrested on May 9 during his biometrics,” he said and added that Khan’s counsels have written to NAB to provide the inquiry report of the Al-Qadir case.

Harris added that through media he got to know that the NAB inquiry was converted into investigation. The purpose of such a move was to arrest Khan, he claimed.

“After the recent NAB amendment, warrants can be issued only at the stage of investigation and not before it,” said the lawyer expressing his apprehension that Khan would be arrested again. “After the amendment, the inquiry can be started with the approval of the NAB chairman.”

Justice Aurangzeb asked whether Khan appeared before NAB on the notice, to which the PTI chief lawyer replied in the negative, saying that his client had submitted a reply.

Harris alleged that the anti-graft body had become a “biased institution”

Later, the court approved the two-week bail petition of Khan and ordered the NAB prosecutor and Khan’s lawyer to prepare for the next hearing. On the next hearing, the court said that a decision would be made whether Khan’s petition should be rejected or the bail plea extended.

Protective bail in cases registered in Lahore

An IHC bench comprising Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri and Justice Ejaz Ishaq Khan granted bail to Khan in all cases registered in Lahore till Monday (May 15). These also included undisclosed cases registered against the PTI chief.

The PTI chief told the court that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah was planning to arrest him again and that it would lead to a backlash similar to the one seen on his arrest earlier this week. “If the situation goes out of control, there will be a disaster,” he said, “the army and the people are being brought face to face.”

He added that police also suffered losses, adding that people are behind the army.

“Both sides have done the same thing,” said Justice Jahangiri referring to the PTI and the government. He told the PTI counsel that cases were registered against PMLN’s Javed Latif during the PTI’s rule. The judge added that even then the court had stopped the execution of the cases.

Later, the court stopped the authorities from arresting Khan till Monday (May 15) in Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) cases registered against him after May 9 and ordered him to submit Rs50,000 worth of surety bonds.

Case related to Zille Shah’s death

IHC’s Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri granted Khan protective bail in a case related to the death of Zille Shah, a PTI worker who was killed during a party rally in Lahore earlier this year, for 10 days against surety bonds worth Rs50,000.

Written order and MPO

Aaj News correspondent Asif Naveed was of the view that a written order would further clarify the court’s ruling, saying that it would explain the domain of the order for “cases after May 9”.

As the cases were heard, security was declared on high alert in the court and preparations were under way for taking Khan back to the Police Lines guest house. Rangers took their position at the gate.

But Imran Khan didn’t want to take any risk and waited for the written orders.

Naveed said the order announced in the court suggested that there was no possibility of any arrest. But legal experts cautioned that it was mandatory for bail approval that a clear “reference” of the case in which bail was sought is provided.

Khan was to be taken back to the Police Guest House in F11. From there, he was to be accompanied by his security staff and police squad.

Khan had left his phone and other items at the guest house and was brought to the court in a police vehicle.

But this was to happen only after getting a written court order.

As many as 124 cases have been registered against Khan across Pakistan — in different provinces. “A written order will make it more clear in what cases the court has stopped authorities from arresting Khan. Has the court given relief in all cases? If so, the order will be unprecedented,” Naveed said.

Naveed was of the view that Khan could be put under house arrest or taken into custody under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance like the PTI’s central leadership, which is behind bars depending on the content of the written order.

He added that under the MPO, the leaders could be taken into custody for 30 to 90 days.

SC declares Khan’s arrest ‘unlawful’

Khan’s arrest was declared unlawful by the Supreme Court on Thursday and he was sent to the guest house in Islamabad Police Lines.

Khan spent the night at the guest house where he held a prolonged meeting with President Arif Alvi.

According to the court order, the police said that 10 people, including President Alvi and Gilgit Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid, met with Khan last night. A seven-member legal team and the PTI chief’s physician Dr Faisal also met him at the police guest house.

Alleged audio leak

Audio that was leaked to the media on Thursday right after Imran got relief from the Supreme Court has added a darker background to the proceedings. There were claims that a specific bench is going to grant bail to Khan.

An alleged call between Khawaja Tariq, one of Khan’s lawyers, and Abdul Qayyum Siddiqui, a court reporter for Geo News, was leaked to the media and made a prediction for what turn things would take after Imran applied for relief from the Supreme Court.

When asked about the proceeding in the SC, Tariq told Siddiqui that the SC will order ‘it goes back to the high court’. This part was proven true on Thursday.

Tariq then claimed that Imran would object to Justice Aamer Farooq hearing the case. The case would then go to Justice Mohsin Kayani who will grant Imran bail. This turned out to be false.

The call’s contents have not been confirmed or denied till now.

Khan had already expressed a lack of confidence in IHC’s Chief Justice Aamer Farooq who had declared his arrest illegal on Tuesday. Imran had reportedly asked that no cases of his should be sent to Justice Farooq.

Section 144 imposed in Islamabad

Islamabad police imposed an emergency order banning gatherings as supporters of Imran Khan were expected to march to the capital on Friday.

 A screenshot of Islamabad police tweet on May 12, 2023.
A screenshot of Islamabad police tweet on May 12, 2023.

His party urged supporters to gather at Srinagar Highway, G-13 in Islamabad where clashes were witnessed between party workers and the police.

Reuters reported that nearly 2,000 people have been arrested so far and at least eight killed after Khan’s supporters clashed with police, attacked military establishments and set other state buildings and assets ablaze, prompting the government to call in the army to help restore order.

The army has warned Khan’s supporters that it will respond firmly if there are further attacks on its assets, saying in a statement on Wednesday that the violence on its installations was “pre-planned” and ordered by his party leadership.

Khan, whose opponents say was brought to power through a rigged election in 2018 by the generals, has blamed the military for his ouster from office in April 2022 in a parliamentary no-confidence vote.

(With input from Reuters)

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