A special court hearing the cipher case has ordered the prosecutor to produce an order of the federal government which give it jurisdiction to hold the trial under the Official Secrets Act.
In a detailed order issued for the hearing on December 4, the court said that the defence had argued that Section 13(6) of the Official Secrets Act needs an order for the government to allow the trial to proceed.
The order also clarifies that the the Enemy Agents Ordinance of 1943 will not be applicable to the case of Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The section 13(6) of the OSA allows for trial under the Pakistan Criminal Law Amendments Act which will be used instead of the Enemy Agents Ordinance. The order mentions that the latter act is rigid and denies many rights to the accused.
The prosecutor argued that the word may has been added to section 13(6) so providing the government order is not necessary. However, the court still ordered that the ‘general or specific’ order be produced on or before the next hearing.
The order adds that copies of the inquiry reports have been provided to the accused and they will be charged on the next hearing on December 12.