A divisional bench of the Islamabad High Court ordered the government to submit the notification of the special court as well as the security reports showing threats to Imran Khan after it resumed hearing the former prime minister’s appeal against jail trial in the cipher case on Monday.
The case was adjourned till Tuesday, with the stay order against the jail trial being extended another day.
The bench includes Justice Gul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat and heard arguments from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s lawyers on Monday.
Justice Aurangzeb asked why the special court judge had written a letter asking for the trial to be held in jail and what security concerns he was aware of.
The judge told Attorney General Manshoor Awan that he would have to satisfy the court on the point of why the judge wrote the letter.
Imran Khan’s lawyer Salman Akram Raja said Shah Mahmood Qureshi was brought to the judicial complex in the cipher case on August 19 while his client had been sent to judicial custody on August 16 even though they were both implicated in the same case.
He added that the trial was proceeding normally but the ministry of interior had suddenly said that there was a security threat.
Akram also argued that Khan’s judical remand was approved without presenting him in court and the jail trial had been notified on August 29.
The court observed that the attorney general had submitted documents including special reports such as a letter by the CCPO. However, the notification for the jail trial did not mention security threats or the special report by the ministry of interior.
The bench has already issued a stay order against the jail trial in the cipher case till November 21.
The government’s lawyer had told the court about a notification regarding cabinet approval for the jail trial on November 14. However, the court had observed that the trial had already been underway for weeks when the notification was issued.
Justice Aurangzeb remarked that the notifications issued by the federal government for the jail trial seemed to be prima facie against high cort rules. He also said that many questions needed to be answered about the trial.
On November 16, the attorney general had told the IHC that the intra-court appeal was not admissible in the first place.
However, the attorney general had failed to present the notification regarding approval of jail trial.
Khan’s lawyer Salman Akram Raja had told the court that he would reply to the objections raised on the trial by the attorney general.