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Thursday, February 22, 2024  
11 Shaban 1445  

IHC rejects Imran Khan’s intra-court appeal against jail trial in cypher case

Court says IHC chief justice might form new bench on matter
PTI chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/File
PTI chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/File

The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday rejected PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s intra-court appeal against his jail trial in the cypher case.

PTI chief’s lawyer Salman Akram Raja contended before the court that the federal government did not have the authority to issue a notification for holding Khan’s trial in prison.

During the proceedings, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb said that the IHC chief justice might form a new bench on the matter after the court removes objections of the registrar.

However, right now the court cannot give any interim relief to the PTI chief, Justice Aurangzeb said, adding that whether the petition is admissible or not will be decided later.

A day earlier, a special court established under the Official Secrets Act indicted Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cypher case , with both politicians pleading not guilty.

Read: Law ministry approves holding cipher case hearing in Adiala jai

The charge is related to a classified cable sent to Islamabad by Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington early last year, which Khan is accused of making public.

The case against the two leaders was registered under sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 r/w Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Under Section 5 titled ‘wrongful communication, etc, of information’, a person if found guilty could be awarded fourteen years imprisonment.

Sub section 3 stated that a person guilty of an offence under this section shall be punishable

“(a) where the offence committed is a contravention of clause (a) of sub-section (1) and intended or calculated to be, directly or indirectly, in the interest or for the benefit of a foreign power, or is in relation to any work of defence, arsenal, naval, military or air force establishment or station, mine, mine-field, factory, dockyard, camp, ship or aircraft or otherwise in relation to the naval, military or air force affairs of Pakistan or in relation to any secret official code, 2 [with death, or] with imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years ; and

(b) in any other case, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.]“

Section 9 titled ‘attempts, incitements, etc’ explains that a person shall be punishable if they incite to commit, attempt to commit, aids or abets the commission of an offence under the Act.

“Any person who incites to commit, conspires to commit, attempts to commit, aids or abets the commission of an offence under this Act shall be punishable with the same punishment, and be liable to be proceeded against in the same manner as if he had committed such offence.],” it states.

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