After hearing the arguments on a motion submitted by the PTI head seeking the deletion of his warrants, Judge Zafar Iqbal issued the decision that had been reserved earlier in the day.
After Imran chose not to appear in court while attending hearings of three additional charges – forbidden funding, terrorism, and attempted murder — brought against him in other nearby local courts, the same court last week issued non-bailable arrest warrants for him.
A police squad from Islamabad was dispatched to Lahore on Sunday to apprehend Imran with the court summons. But after the PTI leader escaped arrest, it came back empty-handed.
Imran then filed a petition with the Islamabad Sessions Court, claiming that the warrants’ revocation would provide him “a fair opportunity to present and defend himself” in the proceeding.
The PTI leader is accused of hiding information about the goods he kept from the Toshakhana—a storage facility where gifts given to government officials by foreign officials are kept—in his asset declarations. Authorities are legally permitted to keep gifts as long as they pay a pre-assessed sum, which is normally a small portion of the gift’s value.
Imran had not contested the arrest warrants issued for him in any forum, according to ADSJ Iqbal’s ruling.
“The accused was able to appear in this court on February 28 after his appearances in other respectable courts, but he purposefully chose not to do so.
The court ruling stated, “A warrant must remain in force until it is revoked by the court which issued it or until it is executed in accordance with Section 75(2) Cr.P.C.
Although the PTI leader was not present in court today, it was noted that a warrant had been issued for his appearance in the trial.
The accused has not yet been in court and no application for his personal appearance on this day is attached to the court file. The application is denied since the accused hasn’t shown up in court to guarantee his future participation in the trial, it continued.
In the court today, PTI attorneys Qaisar Imam, Ali Bukhari, and Lawyer Gohar represented the party leader.
Bukhari informed the court at the beginning of the hearing that his client requested a means of appearing in court. Adding that the police could not detain him if he desired to come before the court, he claimed that the PTI head has always followed court orders.
The court questioned the PTI attorney, “You might have sought the Islamabad High Court for the dismissal of arrest warrants.
The legal team expressed their desire to approach the sessions court for the cancellation of warrants, as stated by the lawyer.
Imran approaches Lahore High Court (LHC).
Imran has filed bail applications in three separate cases related to the Toshakhana reference, vandalism at the Islamabad judicial complex, and violence outside the Islamabad High Court (IHC). In addition, he has also approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) for relief in these cases.
Nevertheless, according to information obtained by habibafazal.com, the LHC registrar has objected to Imran’s applications, citing incomplete submission of documents alongside the petitions.
New FIR registered against Imran Khan and 50 others
It has been revealed today that Sub-Inspector Nadeem Tahir, the station house officer of Islamabad’s Secretariat Police Station, lodged a new First Information Report (FIR) against 150 individuals, including Imran, at Lahore’s Race Course Police Station on Sunday at 7:50 pm.
The FIR was registered under several sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, including armed rioting, unlawful assembly, obstructing public servants in discharging their duties, criminal intimidation, and harbouring offenders.
According to the FIR, when an Islamabad police team attempted to arrest Imran at Zaman Park, a charged crowd of 100-150 people with sticks and rods surrounded the team and threatened to kill them. Despite the police’s efforts to reason with the crowd, they were forcefully stopped and pushed around.
The complainant also accused PTI Senator Shibli Faraz of obstructing the police from carrying out their duty by delaying tactics and protecting Imran from arrest by hiding the facts.
In response to reports of the FIR, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry stated that the total number of cases against Imran has now reached 75, with another FIR registered in Quetta.
The former prime minister, aged 70, has missed three scheduled indictment hearings in an Islamabad sessions court for the Toshakhana Reference case. He was unable to appear for his hearing on February 28 due to his lawyer’s request for exemption, citing other court appearances. The judge deferred Imran’s indictment twice before issuing arrest warrants and rescheduling the hearing for March 7.
The Toshakhana Reference alleges that Imran failed to disclose details about the gifts he had retained from the Toshakhana (a department under the Cabinet Division that stores gifts given to rulers and government officials by heads of other governments and foreign dignitaries) and the proceeds from their sales during his tenure as prime minister.
Lawmakers from the ruling coalition filed the reference last year, and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) concluded on October 21 that Imran had made false statements and incorrect declarations about the gifts. The ECP’s ruling led to Imran’s disqualification under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution.
As a result, the ECP submitted a copy of the reference to the Islamabad sessions court, seeking criminal proceedings against Imran for misleading officials about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his time as prime minister.