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LHC approves Imran Khan’s protective bail plea after hours-long ruckus for in-person appearance

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Marking an end to the hours-long ruckus created inside the court premises, the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday approved Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s protective bail plea in a case pertaining to protests outside the ECP — Election Commission of Pakistan.

After several notices served to Khan, the PTI chairman ‘finally’ appeared before the LHC to present himself in two separate hearings.

The LHC had adjourned the hearing once again till 7:30pm, directing the security officials to pave way for the PTI chief to reach courtroom.

Despite reaching LHC premises the disposed prime minister could not appear before the court as his convoy is surrounded by massive number of party supporters.

The LHC had granted the former prime minister the last few minutes to present himself before the court after the initial deadline of 5pm lapsed, warning lawyers that the judges would leave if the former prime minister won’t reach the courtroom in the given time.

Khan was directed to appear before the court in person by Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh for hearing his protective bail petition in a case pertaining to protests outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The LHC had noted the discrepancy in the documents last week during the hearing of a protective bail plea of Khan, who was unwilling to appear in court due to security concerns.

Today’s hearing

After multiple adjournments, a two member bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) — headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi — resumed hearing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s bail plea.

Advocate Khawaja Tariq Rahim, Khan’s counsel, apprised the bench that the former prime minister was present in the court’s premises and pleaded with the court to mark the attendance of the wounded leader in his vehicle.

At this, Justice Najafi directed the counsel to produce his client before the court as he has reached the court’s premises.

Referring to the rush inside the court’s premises, the lawyer said that Khan’s plaster would damage if someone pushes him.

“Suspect’s appearance in court is mandatory for interim bail,” remarked the judge.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing till 7:30pm.

Khan’s counsel, in view of the PTI’s workers massive rush inside the court’s premises, pleaded with the court to mark the attendance of the injured leader in his vehicle but the court turned down the request.

Earlier in the day, when the hearing resumed today after multiple suspensions, Advocate Khawaja Tariq Rahim, counsel for the former prime minister, admitted that the bail petition was not signed by the PTI chief.

Taking note of Imran Khan’s absence despite orders at the outset of the hearing, Justice Sheikh inquired where the PTI chief was as he was asked to appear in court at 2pm.

Khan’s lawyer told the court that his client was on his way and was late due to security issues.

Justice Sheikh told the counsel that resolving the security issues was not his problem and then adjourned the hearing once again.

When the hearing resumed again, lawyer Khawaja Tariq Rahim said that there was traffic on Mall Road which is why the PTI chief was late. He added that the police had communicated to them that Mall Road would remain free from traffic but there was a traffic jam.

The lawyer then told the court that his client does not see himself “bigger than the high court”, adding that the PTI chief will come but arrangements need to be made.

When the judge pressed the counsel to explain the reasons why his client is not appearing, the lawyer said a perception is being created that Imran Khan doesn’t want to appear before the court.

“Let me issue a show cause notice and fix a date after three weeks,” the judge remarked. At this, the counsel said Khan will come tomorrow.

“Not this early,” the judge responded, asking the counsel to let him write down the order as “you are making fun of law”.

The LHC judge noted, “Imran Khan is a leader, a role model and should remain so.”

At this, the counsel promised to produce Imran Khan by 5pm. The judge then said, “This is the last chance for Imran Khan as the court had already granted him concession”.

LHC orders Khan to appear before it on Feb 20

The PTI chief was summoned by the court when it had convened last week and noticed the discrepancy in the petition he had filed.

The former prime minister was summoned by the court when he approached LHC to seek bail in a terror case registered against him over alleged vandalism during the protests in Islamabad against his disqualification by the ECP. However, he was unwilling to appear due to security concerns.

Khan had moved the high court after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad cancelled his bail over non-appearance.

Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh had directed the PTI chief to appear in person in the case but he failed to do so despite multiple adjournments during the last hearing.

During the course of the hearing, Khan’s lawyer Siddique asked the court that he will be withdrawing the petition.

But Justice Sheikh rejected the request as he had noticed that there are different signs of Khan on the affidavit and power of attorney.

The judge then took notice of the different signatures and adjourned the hearing briefly.

When the court reconvened Khan’s lawyer asked for further time. At this, the court adjourned the hearing till February 20 (today).

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Judge Muhammad Ali Warraich postpones the £190 million corruption lawsuit until June 21.

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The £190 million corruption case at Adiala Jail was heard by Judge Muhammad Ali Waraich of the Accountability Court. The hearing was postponed until June 21.

The cross-examination and statement of one witness took place during the case hearing. At the next hearing, four more witnesses will be put through cross-examination.

Up to now, 30 witness statements have been recorded, of which 22 have already undergone cross-examination.

Bushra Bibi, the founder of the PTI, was in court today throughout the proceedings.

The PTI’s legal representatives in the lawsuit included Shoaib Shaheen, Niazullah Niazi, Salman Akram Raja, and Ali Zafar.

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Nationwide protest gatherings will be held by the PTI on June 14.

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Zahir Shah, the minister of food for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has said that Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) will stage protests across the country to demand the release of PTI founder Imran Khan.

On June 14, protests around the country would take place, according to Zahir Shah Toru.

He added that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s chief minister had made plans for protests in every district.

In the protests, fictitious accusations made against PTI founder Imran Khan and its leadership will be denounced.

There would be no breaking of the law or the constitution, according to KP Minister Zahir Shah.

At 5:00 p.m., the Mardan demonstration will take place.

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Shah Mehmood, founder of the PTI, and others found not guilty in Azadi March case

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Information suggests that court magistrate Malik Muhammad Imran exonerated Imran Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Sheikh Rasheed, the chief of AML, in addition to announcing the reserved verdict.

Acquittal of Sadaqat Abbasi and Ali Nawaz Awan from the Azadi March case was also ordered by the court.

It should be mentioned that numerous prominent members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), like as Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former prime minister Imran Khan, and others, were apprehended by the police in separate complaint letters pertaining to the Azadi March.

Following unrest between police and the PTI leader in the provincial capital, 42 charges were filed against PTI senior leaders and workers for agitation.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had previously found former prime minister Imran Khan and PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi not guilty in a case involving ciphers.

Decisions on appeals from the cipher case’s conviction were announced by Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb of the IHC.

The party’s vice-chairman and founder, who was convicted in a similar case in January of this year, received 10-year prison sentences apiece.

On the other hand, Qureshi’s arrest in the crimes that occurred on May 9th and Imran’s sentences in the Toshakhana and Iddat cases mean that they are unlikely to be released from prison anytime soon.

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