IHC. Bail to Imran Khan in all cases, barring the authorities from arresting him till May 17 “I was 100% certain that I would be arrested.” Imran Khan replied to a reporter in Court.

Two-member IHC bench headed by Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb grants 2-week protective bail to Imran Khan in Al-Qadir Trust case

Court announces to deliver judgment on bail application of Imran Khan on next hearing of the case while listening the arguments

Also grants bail to Imran Khan in all cases, barring the authorities from arresting him till May 17

“NAB officials allowed me to talk to my wife via landline”. Imran khan 

A reporter further asked whether he had expected to be arrested, Imran Khan replied: “I was 100% certain that I would be arrested.”

ISLAMABAD ( Web News )

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday granted protective bail to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan in Al-Qadir Trust case. The court while issuing the notice to the NAB has summoned reply on next hearing of the case. The court directed the NAB prosecution to come up with full preparation on next hearing of the case as the court will deliver judgment on the bail application of Imran Khan while listening the arguments. Meanwhile the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has also granted bail to PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan in all cases, barring the authorities from arresting him till May 17.

The former prime minister — who was arrested from the premises of the IHC on Tuesday — was granted 15-day protective bail by the two-member special division bench, comprising of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz.

The special division bench was formed by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq to hear the former prime minister’s bail plea a day after Supreme Court of Pakistan termed Imran Khan’s arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case “unlawful”.

A beaming Imran Khan, sporting a stylish pair of sunglasses, arrived at IHC in tight security like a celebrity, wearing a crisp light-blue shalwar kameez and a dark blue waistcoat, as hundreds of police and paramilitary troops guarded the premises of the judicial structure in the federal capital.

At the outset of the hearing — which began after an hour-long delay — the two-member bench expressed its displeasure after lawyers chanted slogans in favour of the former prime minister.

During the first session, Imran Khan — in response to a reporter’s question on whether he was allowed to use phone during his arrest or not — said: “NAB officials allowed me to talk to my wife via landline”.

The reporter then cross-questioned that why did Imran Khan contact Musarrat Jamshed Cheema when he was given the phone to talk to his wife. At this Imran Khan clarified that he could not contact his wife.

A reporter further asked whether he had expected to be arrested, Imran Khan replied: “I was 100% certain that I would be arrested.”

Following this, the courtroom erupted into slogans in favour of the PTI chief. The courtroom staff tried to stop the chanting; however, they failed to do so. At this, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb said that this was “unacceptable”.

Subsequently, the hearing was briefly adjourned for a break for Friday prayers.

When the hearing resumed after 2:30 PM, Imran Khan was present in the courtroom alongside his legal team and his lawyer Khawaja Haris Ahmed presented his arguments.

Haris contended before the court that the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) actions were illegal. He said that NAB could only issue an arrest warrant after an inquiry had formally been turned into an investigation.

He said that the PTI had gotten to know that NAB had formally initiated an investigation against Imran through media reports. He also said that PTI chief had approached the IHC on May 9 seeking the NAB report in the inquiry but was arrested before he could enter the courtroom.

At one point during the hearing, the court asked the petitioner if he was provided a questionnaire in connection with the case, to which Haris replied in negative.

He said that Imran was issued a call-up notice which he did not appear for but instead submitted a written reply. Haris further said that the accountability watchdog was “biased” at the moment.

The court then accepted Imran’s bail plea and also instructed the NAB prosecutor general and Imran’s lawyers to be prepared at the next hearing. It also said that it would decide whether Imran’s bail should be cancelled or extended at the next hearing.

In an informal discussion with journalists during the hearing break, Imran Khan said that he will not resist if his bail plea is rejected.

Contacting his legal team amid fears of arrest, Imran Khan — referring to the clashes — warned that a similar reaction would be seen if he is arrested again.

“I don’t want such a situation to arise again as this is my country and my army,” he said, revealing that the Punjab Police had arrived to him.

The PTI chief did not respond to a question about his experience of being arrested; however, in response to a question regarding claims that he was given “extraordinary relief” compared to other political leaders, Imran Khan said: “Relief in this! I was sitting in the high court, they had no justification to arrest me.”

Terming his arrest “abduction”, he said that the warrant was shown to him after he was taken to the jail. “This is the law of the jungle,” the PTI chief asserted.

“Where did the police and the law go? It looks like martial law has been declared here,” he said.

As the hearing resumed, Imran Khan stood up and requested everyone to listen to the proceedings quietly, alleging that an 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.

Advocate General Islamabad Jadoon then commenced his arguments and said that he will not discuss the merits of the case, but read Article 245 of the Constitution instead.

“The high court cannot hear a case in an area where the army has been summoned under Article 245,” he added.

Expressing displeasure, the bench asked the AG if the court should do away with all writ petitions due to Article 245.

Justice Aurangzeb then questioned if martial law has been imposed. To this, Jadoon replied the army was called to aid in the restoration of law and order following violent protests.

The court then summoned NAB Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi to the rostrum. Abbasi informed the bench that “Imran never appeared before the bureau”.

The NAB prosecutor further informed the court that former accountability czar Shahzad Akbar was also sent a notice but he did not join the inquiry.

The court then granted the PTI chief two weeks interim bail and barred NAB from arresting Imran.

The NAB prosecutor tried to talk further but was told by Justice Aurangzeb to remain quiet as the court had announced the order.

Speaking to media persons during the hearing break, Imran Khan’s lawyer Babar Awan clarified that the lawyers who started chanting slogans were not related to PTI.” He then asked: “Why would someone who wants elections, create trouble in the country?”

Awan further expressed concerns about another arrest of the PTI chairman and said: “The Punjab police has especially been called to Islamabad. Why does the government want to arrest Imran Khan?”

The lawyer added that if the Punjab police arrested Khan again, it would be “unconstitutional”.

Ahead of his hearing, a private TV channel reporter asked Imran Khan if he had met with the establishment during his imprisonment.

Imran Khan responded by shaking his head in the negative. He was then asked: “Are you adamant or have you made a deal?” This time too, the PTI chief did not answer, instead he smiled, prompting the reporter to ask if Khan’s silence was a sign that he had made a deal?

Once more, Khan did not respond verbally and instead put his finger on his mouth, signalling to be quiet.

Ahead of Friday’s hearing, hundreds of police and paramilitary troops were deployed around the high court and the surrounding area, which was blocked for traffic.

PTI lawyers were present at the rear gate of the IHC, while Rangers personnel stood outside the court’s building and Islamabad Police were deployed inside the premises.

The former prime minister, along with his wife Bushra Bibi and other PTI leaders, former federal ministers and Bahria Town owner Malik Riaz Hussain and Ali Riaz Malik, 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, Imran Khan and other 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.