ISLAMABAD, May 12: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan interim bail for two weeks in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
IHC CJ Aamer Farooq constituted a two-member bench – comprising Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz – to hear Imran’s bail plea in the case.
As the hearing commenced today, a lawyer stood up and chanted slogans in favour of the ousted premier. Expressing its displeasure, the division bench said there should be complete silence, with Justice Miangul warning that the case will not be heard if such acts continue.
The court then took a break for Friday prayers.
As the hearing resumed, Imran stood up and requested everyone to listen to the proceedings quietly, alleging that and individual “had been planted” to disrupt the proceedings earlier.
Reacting to his remark, Advocate General Islamabad Barrister Jahangir Khan Jadoon raised an objection and questioned why the PTI chief was levelling allegations.
“Jadoon sb, I am sorry but I did not say anything about you,” replied Imran.
Khwaja Haris, representing the PTI chief, came to the rostrum and stated that Imran had written to the accountability watchdog for a copy of the inquiry in the Al-Qadir Trust case. “We came to know through the media that the inquiry has been converted into an investigation,” Haris maintained.
The lawyer added that the manner in which the inquiry was converted into an investigation, the aim was to “arrest Imran immediately”.
Haris furthered that NAB can convert an inquiry into an investigation only if there is sufficient evidence.
“A notice was sent to me on March 2 to which I replied,” he said, adding that in his reply, he informed NAB that the notice was not sent as per the requirements of the NAB Ordinance.
Haris further argued that NAB has to inform the individual whether the summons is as an accused or as a witness, adding that if a person has been summoned as an accused, the bureau has to explain the charges.
The court then inquired if the PTI counsel was sent a questionnaire. To this, Haris replied that the questionnaire was not sent, however, he had sought further information. He added that in Toshakhana case, a notice was sent to me him in the same manner which he challenged in the same court.
“This court declared these notices illegal,” said Haris
Haris added that Imran was arrested, and an inquiry report was then provided. However, on April 28, the inquiry was converted into an investigation.
Following the arguments presented by Imran’s counsel, the court granted two weeks of interim relief to the PTI chief.
‘Looks as if martial law is in place’
During recess, Imran spoke to media to the media again and said “this is my country, my people, be peaceful”. He assured that he has obtained bail “in all cases” and cannot be arrested.
The former prime minister further stated that he has full confidence in the chief justice of Pakistan. Recalling his arrest earlier this week, the PTI chief said he was assaulted with a baton but maintained that NAB’s “behaviour was fine” during his detention.
“I had warned of a reaction,” said Imran referring to his arrest. “How can be held responsible if I was under arrest.”
Elaborating on his arrest, the PTI chief said he was inside the premises of the IHC when he was arrested and “they had no justification” for the act.
Imran maintained that he was “abducted” and was shown the warrant for his arrest while in custody. “This is the law of the jungle.”
“It looks as if martial law has been declared,” said the former premier.
Prior to the start of the hearing, the PTI chief stated that he can be arrested again, adding that he was allowed to talk to his wife Bushra Bibi.
When asked for confirmation that he had reached a ‘deal’, Imran smiled but stayed silent
The former premier reached the IHC amid tight security. On his arrival, a large number of lawyers gathered outside the IHC premises and raised slogans in support of the PTI chief.
The hearing in Courtroom No. 1 commenced after the premises were checked by the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) and cleared by security officials.
Imran’s counsel, Babar Awan, talking with the media outside the IHC and said that the PTI chief’s “life is in danger”.
He maintained that there are certain people who fear that if Imran is released, their jobs will be at risk. “That is why Punjab Police has come from Lahore,” he added.
The former premier had earlier left for court from the Police Lines guesthouse under a heavy escort.