Imran Khan, the head of the PTI and a former prime minister, requested an extension of his interim bail on Wednesday, but the Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) denied his request. The argument was presented in a case involving a demonstration held in front of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) after its ruling in the Toshakhana case.
Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan, the judge, pronounced the decision based on the defendant’s absence from the hearing.
The major developments:
Islamabad Imran’s bid to have his pre-arrest bail extended in the ECP protest case is denied by the ATC because he did not appear at the hearing
The matter cannot be delayed for a “indefinite period,” according to Judge Hassan.
He had previously received a summons from ATC to attend in person.
Imran “tried to arrive but could not,” according to lawyer Babar Awan.
Imran is required to appear in court in a matter involving banned funding in Islamabad.
IHC delays further action by the financial court until February 22.
Banking court postpones hearing till February 18; Imran will speak at a press conference at 6 o’clock.
The court stated in a brief order issued today, “It has emerged from the available record that the current applicant [Imran] has been given numerous opportunities.
It was recalled that the PTI leader’s instant pre-arrest bail was chosen on October 24 but that he failed to show up in court on October 31, November 21, November 28, December 9, December 19, January 10, January 31, and again today.
The court stated that because of the lengthy nature of the current bail application, the matter could not be postponed indefinitely and no more chances to request a waiver of personal attendance would be granted.
Therefore, the immediate application for a medical exemption from personal attendance for today is hereby denied.
The order also said that the petitioner’s appearance before the court on the date when the matter was set for the final order was “sine qua non” (absolutely required).
Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi’s non-appearance caused the instant pre-arrest bail plea to be denied, it continued.
Imran was charged with terrorism in October 2022 after PTI members protested outside ECP offices across the nation after it disqualified the former prime minister in the Toshakhana issue.
The PTI leadership urged supporters to protest as soon as the judgement was made public. Police and protestors reportedly clashed in Islamabad, Peshawar, and Karachi as well.
The court earlier today denied the ex-request premier’s for a medical leave of absence. The ATC judge issued an order at 1:20pm that read, “Imran Khan should be in court by 1:30pm.”
The PTI leader has been recovering in his Zaman Park home in Lahore since he was hurt in an attempted assassination while his caravan was making a pit stop there while they were marching on Islamabad.
Imran attempted to fly to Islamabad during the hearing but was unable to, according to Imran’s attorney Babar Awan.
The PTI leader had already been given relief till February 15 to appear in court.
Babar Awan, Imran’s attorney, began today’s proceedings by stating that he wanted to make some points in the case before reading out the FIR that had been filed against his client.
He emphasised that “the case against Imran was registered on the violation of Section 144,” contending that the ATC did not regard this as a terrorism matter.
Awan said that “the court has already allowed bail for other identified parties in the case.” He asked for the FIR’s terrorism charges to be dropped.
The judge then announced that Imran’s bail request was being heard in court.
Is Section 144’s infringement also punishable? Here, Imran’s attorney questioned and stated that the extra sessions judge had given Imran temporary bail till February 27.
“I ask the court to continue extending my client’s bail until that time. Imran attempted to travel but was unsuccessful, he claimed.
Imran “has never run away from court or the country,” Awan continued, pleading for one more opportunity. “I am prepared to present surety bonds in the amount of Rs. 10,000.”
The hearing was subsequently postponed while the attorney asked the court for more time to contact Imran about the situation.