The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has termed the arrest of former premier and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan ‘legal’ in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq — who had raised questions over the Rangers’ move to arrest Khan from the court’s premises earlier in the day — announced the reserved verdict.
The IHC also issued notices to the Islamabad inspector general of Islamabad police and the interior secretary over contempt of court.
The chief justice ordered the high court registrar to get a first information report (FIR) registered over the circumstances of the arrest, which included manhandling the lawyers present nearby as well as damage to the court building.
The NAB officials said that they wrote a letter to the interior ministry for the PTI chief’s arrest. The IHC CJ remarked that nobody is above the law. He added lawyers sustained wounds due to the chaos in the high court.
He also instructed the registrar to conduct an inquiry and submit a report by 16th May.
As Imran Khan taken into custody, Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Aamer Farooq took notice and summoned the Islamabad IG and the interior secretary within “15 minutes”.
He also directed the additional attorney general to appear before the court in 15 minutes and instructed him to immediately find out who was behind the arrest.
“If an inquiry has to be conducted, action will also be taken against the prime minister and ministers,” the chief justice said.
Justice Farooq further asked: “Tell us in which case the arrest was made?”
The Islamabad advocate general then requested that the court extend the time of 15 minutes to half an hour; however, the request was rejected and he was ordered to appear in 15 minutes.
When the court resumed the hearing after the break, NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi appeared before the court and told the court that the anti-corruption watchdog had asked the Ministry of Interior to ensure compliance with the bureau’s arrest warrant issued for Khan on May 1.
“Can arrests be made at the court premises?” the IHC CJ inquired. The prosecutor replied that any action could be taken if someone put resistance against the arrest.
The deputy prosecutor also admitted that the public property was damaged and the lawyers present with the ex-premier were manhandled.
At this, the IHC chief justice expressed displeasure saying that the appropriate method should be adopted while implementing the arrest warrant.
The NAB prosecutor told the court that Khan resisted arrest on many occasions in the past and added that he did not appear before the anti-corruption watchdog for inquiry as well.
He further termed the issuance of the PTI chief’s arrest warrants legal.
The NAB deputy prosecutor also maintained that there is no restriction on the arrest from the court premises, adding that in view of the court’s sanctity the ex-PM was not taken into custody from the courtroom.
During the hearing of the case, IHC Bar Association President Naveed Malik told the IHC chief justice that the court compound was attacked and lawyers were injured.
The PTI chief’s counsel Haris asked the court to inquire NAB as to when it changed the inquiry into the investigation in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
He said a copy of the investigation must be provided to Khan’s legal team if any changes are made to the inquiry of the case.
“I wrote a letter to NAB on this matter which is attached,” he said.
Haris informed the court that NAB could issue arrest warrant during the investigation and added that before amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) warrants could be issued during the inquiry,
“Does this means amendments to NAB laws are better,” Justice Farooq remarked.
Terming his client’s arrest as a violation of fundamental rights and an attack on the independence of the judiciary, Khan’s counsel requested the IHC CJ to declare the detention illegal and order his client’s release.
“The arrest is illegal, orders should be issued for the release of Imran Khan,” Barrister Haris said.
Responding to Imran Khan’s counsel query, the NAB deputy prosecutor said the inquiry in the case turned into an investigation on 28th April and added that the former PM did not appear before the bureau for investigation,
“NAB carried out a detailed investigation in the case,” the prosecutor added.
Islamabad High Court CJ Farooq also observed that the former premier’s release order would be issued if any illegality was committed in the compliance of arrest warrants and reserved the verdict on the matter.
Imran Khan Arrest
Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan arrested by NAB and taken into custody by Rangers from the premises of Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the Al-Qadir Trust Case.
The PTI chief was taken into custody in the Al-Qadir Trust case by Rangers from Islamabad High Court where the former premier had gone to seek bail in multiple FIRs registered against him. The former prime minister was taken in black Vigo and shifted to NAB office Rawalpindi by the law enforcement agency.
According to reports, the PTI chairman was going for biometric at the IHC when he was taken into custody. The NAB officials had arrest warrants.
Imran Khan Torture
Imran Khan’s lawyer Barrister Ali Gohar told media that the Rangers personnel “tortured” the party chairman during the arrest.
“Imran Khan was hit on the head and one ranger personnel was hitting at his injured leg,” he claimed. He added that he and Ali Bukhari were present with the PTI chief at the time of the arrest.
“Rangers broke through the glass and entered the diary branch,” Advocate Gohar further said, adding the Rangers personnel broke IHC’s main gate before ransacking the IHC office.
Govt denies Torture Reports
Federal Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah on Tuesday denied reports of torture on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan during his arrest by Rangers personnel from Islamabad High Court (IHC) on NAB orders.
Taking to Twitter, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader said: “Imran Khan did not ensure his appearance despite several notices. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested him for causing damage to the national treasury.
“No sort of torture was inflicted on him [Khan},” the interior minister wrote on his official handle.
Protests Call across the country
After PTI Chairman Imran Khan arrest Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has announced protests across the country. PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi disapproved of his party chief’s arrest. “The entire nation should immediately take to the streets,” he said asking everyone to come out in protest.
Taking to Twitter, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar condemned the arrest and announced that a committee will announce the next plan of action.
“Pakistan’s biggest political leader arrested after attack on the high court. The whole world is shown that there is no law left in the country,” he said.
Umar said that the party’s six-member committee, formed by Khan and headed by Shah Mehmood Qureshi, will announce PTI’s plan of action.
PTI leader Murad Saeed, in an audio message via PTI’s official Twitter account, claimed that Khan has been tortured and arrested. He asked supporters, particularly youth, to step out to protest against the PTI chief’s arrest.
“It’s time free Pakistan from these oppressors and false gods. It’s time for Haqeeqi Azadi. Come out to the places you’ve been asked to arrive at,” he said.
Medical board formed
A seven-member medical board has been formed at the Poly Clinic in Islamabad for the medical examination of former prime minister.
The seven-member medical board, which includes experts in medicine, orthopedics, cardiology, general surgery, and pathology, has been formed under the leadership of Dr. Fareed Allah Shah, while Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed has also been included from the C.M.O. Poly Clinic.
The medical examination of Imran Khan will be held at NAB Rawalpindi Office.
It should be noted that NAB Rawalpindi had contacted the hospital administration of Poly Clinic to request a medical examination for PTI chief Imran Khan.
Al-Qadir Trust case
The Ex-Premier, along with his wife Bushra Bibi and other PTI leaders, are facing a NAB inquiry related to a settlement between the PTI government and a property tycoon, which reportedly caused a loss of 190 million pounds to the national exchequer.
As per the charges, the Imran Khan and others accused allegedly adjusted Rs50 billion — 190 million pounds at the time — sent by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to the government.
They are also accused of getting undue benefit in the form of over 458 kanals of land at Mouza Bakrala, Sohawa, to establish Al Qadir University.