On a Sunday, IHC grants interim bail to Imran

PTI chief given relief till 7th; told to appear before trial court in case related to his remarks against judge


Saqib Bashir October 02, 2022
PTI chief and former premier Imran Khan outside the courtroom after his indictment hearing at the Islamabad High Court on Sept 22, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court on Sunday granted interim bail to PTI chief Imran Khan till October 7 on an arrest warrant issued for him in a case related to his threatening remarks against a female judge.

The IHC formed a bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani specifically for hearing Imran’s plea against his arrest warrant as the court was usually closed on Sundays.

Justice Kayani, during a chamber hearing, granted interim bail to the PTI chief against surety bonds of Rs10,000, stopping police from arresting him.

He also directed the deposed premier to appear before the trial court during this period.

Senior Civil Juge Rana Mujahid Rahim had issued a warrant against Imran on September 30 over his failure to appear before his court.

When contacted by the PTI’s legal team, the staff of the IHC's institution branch immediately reached the court where Imran’s lawyer Babar Awan filed a bail application on behalf of his client and sought exemption from biometric verification for the petitioner.

In the petition, the PTI chief stated that a terrorism case was initially filed against him. However, the charges were later set aside by the high court and the case was transferred.

He claimed that the government had filed a false case against him so that the peaceful movement against the “corruption mafia” could be stopped.

The Islamabad police said after the IHC had struck down terror charges from the case registered against the PTI chief, the case was transferred to a sessions court.

However, Imran had not obtained his bail from there.

The police added that the PTI chairman had also not attended the last court hearing in the case and the warrant was issued to ensure his presence.

Awan told journalists outside the court that the IHC had granted Imran “pre-arrest transitory protective bail”.

He added that they would show up at the lower court before October 7.

Read ‘Ready to go to prison if arrested’, says Imran after warrant issued

The lawyer said he had raised a few factual points in connection with the case with Justice Kayani.

“I told him that we had already obtained bail in this case as well as the fact these charges can’t be imposed because they are non-cognisable offences,” he added.

A day earlier, PTI leaders and activists gathered at Imran’s Bani Gala residence to prevent the police from arresting him as the news of the warrant surfaced.

Awan described this as a very dangerous situation as the whole country had stood up without giving any call.

He added that the whole nation would take to the streets when Imran gave the call for his Islamabad long march.

In August, Imran while addressing a rally at Islamabad’s F-9 park alleged that Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry knew that incarcerated party leader Shahbaz Gill was tortured in custody, but she did not release him on bail. He had threatened to take action against the judge and Islamabad police high-ups.

An FIR was lodged with the Margalla police station soon. It also carried Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The FIR was lodged hours before another Islamabad police station received a written complaint from a resident of G-11/2 for lodging a case against Imran over making hate-speeches, and inciting rebellion against the army, police and judiciary.

After consultations, the IHC judges had unanimously decided to initiate contempt proceedings against Imran.

On Saturday, Imran had submitted an affidavit to the IHC, stating that he was "willing to apologise" if Judge Zeba thought that he had crossed a "red line".

The former premier assured the court that he would never do anything in the future that would hurt the dignity of any court and the judiciary, especially the lower one.

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