PTI in bid to forestall Punjab govt’s move

LHC to hear plea against cabinet decision to file new cases against PTI leaders

Our Correspondent May 29, 2024
Lahore High Court. PHOTO: ONLINE


PTI founding chairman and former premier Imran Khan on Wednesday petitioned the Lahore High Court, challenging the Punjab cabinet's decision to register additional cases against him and other party leaders.

The high court will hear the matter on Thursday (today).

Filed through PTI lawyer Latif Khan Khosa, Imran in his petition argued that the cases were "unlawful and unconstitutional" as he and his party leaders were “falsely accused”.

The former premier further contended that he was “under perilous apprehension that he is being framed in “false, frivolous and trumped-up cases”.

On May 24, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz’s cabinet approved the initiation of 'fresh legal action' against Imran and other party leaders for their purported involvement in crafting a 'narrative of hate' against state institutions.

The petition read that CM Maryam's cabinet had approved a request from the home secretary to register new cases against PTI members.

Read Imran, his ex-ministers get bail in May 9 cases

The PTI founding chairman, through his counsel, requested certified copies of agenda item 11 from the May 24 cabinet meeting, along with the minutes and recommendations. However, Imran added that he had not received the requested information.

In his plea, Imran stated that numerous cases against him stemmed from events on May 9 last year when he was arrested at the Islamabad High Court, leading to “sequential orchestrated” widespread unrest and damage in various cities, including Lahore's Corps Commander House.

He emphasised that around 10,000 PTI workers and nearly all party leaders were detained, with many still imprisoned a year later.

The plea added that in response to these detentions, Imran filed a writ petition in the LHC seeking a declaration that the charges against him in multiple FIRs were illegal and beyond jurisdiction.

He pointed out that the LHC had admitted the petition on July 7 last year and ordered on July 14 that no coercive action could be taken against Imran in cases where he was not named until further hearings.

Referring to the court's order, Imran contended in his petition that the Punjab cabinet's recent decision aimed to undermine this pending adjudication.

The petition also criticised the ordinances issued by acting President Yousuf Raza Gilani, particularly the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Amendment Ordinance 2024, which extended remand periods from 14 to 40 days, and the Elections Act Amendment, which appointed retired judges to election tribunals.

In his petition, Imran argued that these amendments were designed to persecute the PTI.

Imran in his plea described the Punjab cabinet's decision to file more cases against PTI leaders as "illegal, beyond jurisdiction, and driven by malice”.

He asked the court to declare the provincial cabinet’s decision as “without lawful authority and of no legal consequence in the interest of justice”.

He contended that the decision violated several articles of the Constitution, including Articles 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 14, 16, 19, and 25.

The petition urged the court to annul the Punjab cabinet's decision and allow further factual and legal arguments as necessary.



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