IHC declares Imran Khan s arrest lawful
Threatens ‘action’ against prime minister if his directive not followed
May 9, 2023 04:11 PM
Islamabad High Court Tuesday declared the arrest of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan lawful, reported 24NewsHd TV channel.
The IHC also issued contempt of court notices to Islamabad IGP and Secretary Interior and ordered IHC Registerar to register an FIR and submit a report in this regard by May 16.
The chief justice of the Islamabad High Court took notice of the arrest of former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan from outside the Islamabad High Court where he came to attend the hearing of his cases.
During the hearing, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq inquired of the advocate general present in the court to tell him in which case, the PTI chief has been arrested.
The chief justice said that he came to know that the glass of the IHC building windows have been broken and police officials were beaten.
“I am showing restraint. But if the court’s directives were not followed, then I will order action against everyone. I will also order action against the prime minister,” the chief justice remarked.
The court summoned the interior secretary, Islamabad IG, and additional attorney general in 15 minutes.
PTI lawyer Salman Safdar requested the court to stop security officials from taking Imran Khan outside the court premises.
The Islamabad advocate general requested the court to give him some time.
Subsequently, Islamabad IGP Dr Khan appeared at the IHC and submitted a copy of the NAB's warrant. He said the anti-graft watchdog utilised the help of any law enforcement agency as per its requirements.
Meanwhile, Khan's lawyer Barrister Ali Gohar told the court that the security personnel had "tortured" lawyers, while the PTI chairman was "struck on his head and injured leg".
Khwaja Haris, who was also part of Khan's legal team, argued that a person could not be arrested from court premises if bail applications had been filed. "Khan's fundamental right cannot be violated."
Haris further said that the PTI chief had found about the NAB inquiry being turned into an investigation through the newspaper and a bail application had been readied. The former premier had come to the court to get biometric verification done in connection with the application, he stated.
Other members of Khan's legal team — Ali Bukhari, Faisal Chaudhry, and Naeem Haider Panjhota — also apprised the court of the circumstances surrounding the PTI chairman's arrest.
Meanwhile, IHC CJ Farooq inquired from the additional attorney general whether Khan's arrest was legal. "Where will we stand if the [legal] system breaks down? This matter is related to the functioning of the system," the judge observed.
Subsequently, the court summoned DG NAB and the anti-graft body's prosecutor general to appear in person in 30 minutes.
The hearing resumed after the break when DG NAB Rawalpindi and Deputy Prosecutor General appeared in the court.
Chief Justice asked whether NAB issued arrest warrant for Imran Khan., upon which Deputy Prosecutor General NAB told the court that arrest warrants were issued on May 1.
Upon this, CJ said that lawyers were tortured and government property was damaged in court premises, should the arrest have been made this way?
Deputy Prosecutor General NAB said if someone obstructs the arrest, this situation will have happened.
The IHC Chief Justice said they all are subject to one system and that is honoring the courts and apparently the arrest was made wrongly from the court premises.
Can such an arrest be sustained? Chief Justice asked
Deputy Prosecutor General NAB said if someone obstructs the arrest, force can be used.
Chief Justice said it does not mean to fire guns or cannons.
Chief Justice questioned whether there was an arrest warrant for Imran Khan?
Deputy Prosecutor General NAB said NAB had issued an arrest warrant.
Chief Justice questioned whether NAB executes its warrant in the same way as it happened today?
Deputy Prosecutor General NAB said where necessary, NAB arrests like this.
Chief Justice said he was seeing that NAB had done the same in the Supreme Court in another case.
The NAB’s lawyer said doors or windows may be broken at home or elsewhere during an arrest.
Will the situation be the same in court? Chief Justice questioned.
Upon this, Deputy Prosecutor General NAB said according to the law, it is the same for the whole of Pakistan.
Chief Justice said it happened in the past too, but is today's arrest legal?
The Special Prosecutor replied that every day, the accused are arrested by the Court’s orders and there was no restriction on arrest of accused from court premises.
After this, CJ took up the issue torture on lawyers during the arrest.
Chief Justice said FIRs have to be registered now but first solve the main problem.
President Islamabad High Court Bar Naveed Malik also appeared before the court and told the court that lawyers were tortured in court premises.
Chief Justice said he has come to know that there is also plan for arrest of Fawad Chaudhry.
Faisal Chaudhry told the court that Saifullah Niazi is also likely to be arrested.
Imran Khan’s lawyer Khawaja Haris told the court that on April 30, the news of changing the inquiry into investigation was published and Imran Khan appeared in the Islamabad High Court seeking a bail in the same cases.
“If NAB changes the inquiry into an investigation, the copy has to be given to the accused. This is what I have pleaded in my petition in the High Court. Such maliciousness of NAB has never been seen before,’ said Khawaja Haris.
Chief Justice asked Khawaja Haris that NAB amendments have been challenged by him in the Supreme Court while these amendments are giving protection.
Khawaja Haris told the court that warlier, both NAB inquiry and investigation could have arrested and now after the amendment, NAB can arrest only during an investigation.
Khawaja Haris said NAB started investigation on April 30 and issued a warrant on May 1.
Chief Justice asked Khawaja then whether if these NAB amendments were good?
Khawaja Haris said Imran Khan had filed a bail application in the same case and after Biometric, we would have requested hearing on the case today.
“We have written to NAB to provide inquiry report but NAB did not tell us that they have issued arrest warrants,” Khawaja Haris said.
Khawaja Haris argued that even if the warrant is valid, his client cannot be arrested from the premises of the High Court.
Khawaja Haris said it was a very illegal arrest and the judiciary has been attacked.
He said the court can order the arrest of any person.
He said Salman Safdar kept telling this court every time that they wanted to arrest or kill Imran Khan.
This court has to protect its sanctity and the fundamental rights of the citizens, said Khawaja Haris.
Lawyer Salman Safdar said we lawyers come to the courts to provide legal assistance and not to get beaten and this is not tolerable.
He said no word of apology has come out from NAB yet.
He said they could have arrested Imran Khan from Zaman Park, Bhera or anywhere on the way.
He said we were asked by this court that we will have to come inside the system and now these applications had entered the system.
He said Imran Khan was arrested from the court premises and taken out from the Judges Gate.
“We demand that first Imran Khan should be produced in this court,” Salman Safdar said.
Chief Justice asked the Nab Prosecutor whether the inquiry was converted to an investigation.
Deputy Prosecutor General Muzaffar Abbasi said On April 28, the inquiry was converted into an investigation.
Upon this, CJP asked Abbasi was the inquiry report sent to Imran Khan?
“Imran Khan did not join the inquiry and did not give any information,” replied Abbasi.
He said this is a very important case and NAB has done a lot of work on it.
Chief Justice said it may be very important case but he cannot hear the merits of the case.
Sardar Muzaffar said Imran Khan has been arrested and NAB can keep Imran Khan for 24 hours and after that Khan will be produced before the concerned court.
Chief Justice then asked Additional Home Secretary if NAB has written to him for the arrest of Imran Khan.
IG Islamabad told the court that action of Rangers was in the knowledge of Islamabad Police.
Chief Justices queried whether he was informed in writing?
Did not you overdo things in the execution of the warrant? Chief Justice asked.
IG Police said according to the law, such action is taken under the command of the police and the Rangers under the command of Islamabad Police executed the warrants.
“I now need to see what happened during the arrest,” IG Islamabad said.
Chief Justice asked IG that how many arrests you have made in the court premises in your career.
Later, CJ reserved the verdict on the legality of the arrest of Imran Khan.
Reporter Ehtisham Kiyani