CJ IHC Aamer Farooq orders lower court to decide on Imran Khan’s plea for suspension of arrest warrants
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
Chief Justice Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Aamer Farooq on Wednesday ordered to submit the undertaking duly signed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan in a verdict it had reserved on the PTI’s plea seeking suspension of arrest warrants issued against Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case.
The IHC ordered Imran Khan to approach the sessions court for suspension of warrants and ordered the lower court to issue a verdict in line with the Constitution after the submission of the undertaking. If the trial court was convinced by the undertaking, it would suspend the warrants, the court remarked.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq had taken up a petition filed by the PTI legal team.
Earlier in the day, PTI lawyer Khawaja Harris Ahmad took to rostrum after the chief justice wrapped up hearing of another case and pleaded him for early hearing of his petition. The IHC chief justice remarked the PTI petition was yet to be fixed for hearing. He said the court had provided relief to Imran Khan when it suspended the arrest warrants till March 13 and directed him to appear before the trial court.
‘The ongoing situation is a consequence of not implementing the court orders,” the chief justice remarked while hinting at the tense situation in Lahore where police and PTI workers are engaged in violent clashes amid possible arrest of Imran Khan.
Later, the chief justice removed the objections raised by the registrar office on the petition regarding signature and biometric of the PTI chief. Justice Farooq directed the PTI lawyers to address the objection regarding tickets in half an hour.
During the hearing, Justice Farooq remarked that IHC has given relief to the PTI chief before as well and despite this, it is unfortunate that the current events are taking place.
Justice Farooq then remarked that as of now, the PTI application is not fixed and he will hear the case once it is fixed.
PTI’s lawyer, Khawaja Harris Ahmsan, then requested the court to hear the application on Wednesday.
The IHC chief justice then remarked that the court had heard the petition and had given direction, but unfortunately it was not followed.
To this, Haris again requested Justice Farooq to hear the case, assuring that the court will be satisfied according to the law. Hearing of the case then resumed after the objections were removed.
At the onset of the proceeding, the PTI lawyer said that the IHC had suspended Imran’s arrest warrant on March 7, adding that the petitioners could not appear before the court on March 13. To this, the court inquired where Imran was on that day.
Haris replied that the ousted premier was at home on that particular day and was heading a rally in the evening. He furthered that he had filed a request for exemption from Imran’s appearance in court on March 13.
Justice Farooq remarked that once the warrants are issued, they are on the field and the IHC had only suspended the warrant, but the warrant remains on the field.
Haris then remarked that he had requested to stop the execution of the warrant after the decision on the application.
He added that the complaint filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) did not have a letter from the competent authority and according to law, the ECP can file a complaint but there was no such letter on record that the competent authority had given permission.
Justice Farooq then remarked that “there was an order for appearance in the court, therefore appearance means an appearance”.
The PTI lawyer maintained that it is a “criminal case and that the purpose of the warrant is to ensure appearance but what is happening in Lahore is very sad”.
He informed the court that he has spoken to the PTI chairman and assured that the former prime minister will appear before the court on March 18.
Advocate General Islamabad Barrister Jahangir Khan Jadoon and Additional Attorney General Manawar Iqbal Duggal also appeared before the court.
Justice Farooq then remarked that “for me what is happening in Lahore is also important and the sanctity of the court equally important”.
“Whatever is happening in Lahore, we are showing the world that we do not follow the law. We used to hear about tribal areas where this happens, now we are seeing it in Lahore,” added the IHC chief justice.
Justice Farooq also stated that the sanctity of any court, be it that of the magistrate or the supreme court, should remain intact.
“If one doesn’t appear before the court when called then the law takes its course. The events that unfolded in Lahore are unfortunate, but the sanctity of our courts is also important,” he reiterated.
Haris then asked if Imran has been summoned on March 18, why did the police go to arrest him four days earlier?
The IHC CJ then stated that the workers of a political party were attacking the police, adding that it was an attack on the state.
“The policemen are doing duty there on behalf of the state and the attackers are also our children,” he added.
The additional attorney general then stated that if the previous undertaking had been implemented, currents events would not have taken place. The IHC then reserved its verdict after arguments of the parties concluded.