Tuesday, March 21

Imran Khan’s lawyer buys him two hours as LHC adjourns hearing till 12:30pm

LHC had conditioned PTI chair to appear in person to secure protective bail

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) resumed on Thursday the hearing on the bail petition of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, who has been conditioned to appear before the court in person today to secure immunity from arrest.

The former premier, a day earlier, had approached the LHC after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad cancelled his bail for missing the hearing of a case lodged in light of protests outside the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) office which disqualified him in the Toshakhana case. 

At the outset of the hearing, Advocate Azhar Siddique submitted his power of attorney on behalf of Imran Khan.

“A meeting with Imran Khan’s doctors is going on and the party has concerns over his security,” the lawyer argued before the court and requested additional time.

“How much time do you need?” asked Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh.

To this query, the counsel said that they will try their best to bring Imran Khan in two hours.

After hearing this, the court adjourned the hearing till 12:30pm.

‘Bring Imran on stretcher, or in ambulance’

During yesterday’s hearing, LHC’s Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh had remarked that the PTI chairman would be granted protective bail only if he appears before the court in person.

The ousted prime minister, who was removed from power via a no-confidence move, was booked in the case in October last year after the Toshakhana verdict was announced by the ECP, sparking countrywide protests.

Khan is on  bail on medical grounds after he was injured in an assassination attempt in Wazirabad during a rally on November 3.

Not only had the ATC summoned the PTI chief, but a banking court had also asked Khan to appear before it in the prohibited funding case. However, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the banking court to hold its verdict till February 22 — in a sigh of relief for the ex-prime minister.

The LHC had said that it would ensure Khan’s security and asked his counsel to ensure the PTI chief’s presence today as an in-person appearance was the first rule in a protective bail case.

“Whether you bring him on a stretcher or in an ambulance, it doesn’t matter, but without his in-person appearance, I will not grant bail,” Justice Sheikh had told the legal team before adjourning the hearing till today.

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