IHC to take up Imran’s post-arrest plea today

Special court to hear cypher case against PTI chief, Qureshi as well

Our Correspondent October 09, 2023
Photo: File


The Islamabad High Court will hear PTI chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan’s post-arrest plea in the cypher case on Monday (today) as he was incarcerated in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

A two-member bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq will hear the matter.

The former premier approached the IHC after a special court, set up to hear cases filed under the Official Secrets Act, 1923, rejected his post-arrest plea.

The cypher case is related to a diplomatic document that went missing from the PTI chairman’s possession. The PTI has alleged that the cypher contained a message from the US to oust Imran from power.

Read More: 'Missing cipher' stokes legal troubles for Imran

The IHC had ruled that Imran bail plea proceedings would take place in an open court. However, it had added that they would be in-camera if “sensitive information” was discussed.

The special court, established to hear cases under the Official Secrets Act, will conduct the hearing of the cypher case on Monday (today) as well.

Its judge, Abual Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain, will hear the case against Imran and is fellow party leader, former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at Adiala Jail.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) claimed that Imran had violated the Official Secrets Act by unlawfully keeping a diplomatic cypher in his possession and therefore deserved punishment under the law.

Read More: Decoding the cipher

In its charge-sheet submitted to the special court, the agency also accused Qureshi of facilitating the PTI chief while also mentioning his March 27, 2022 speech at a public rally in Islamabad.

On March 27, 2022, before facing a vote of no-confidence that led to his removal, Imran had taken out a piece of paper – allegedly the diplomatic cypher – from his pocket and displayed it at a public rally, claiming it was evidence of an "international conspiracy" to topple his government.

The special court has fixed a date for the provision of a copy of the challan.

The IHC will also hear on Monday the PTI chief’s appeal for the suspension of the order of the Islamabad sessions court, which convicted him in the Toshakhana [gift repository) case on August 5.

Imran’s miscellaneous application has been fixed by IHC registrar with objections.

The IHC CJ and Justice Babar Sattar will conduct the hearing of the appeal.

The registrar’s office has raised three objections to the appeal. It has asked how two types of relief could be sought in one application; how relief could be sought again in a case that had already been decided and if relief was not sought in the first application, how could it be sought now.

The PTI chief has asked the court to suspend the Toshakhana case verdict and make the state a party in the appeal.


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