The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday directed authorities to shift Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to Adiala jail from Attock prison.

The order, issued during a hearing concerning the prison amenities granted to the PTI chief, was passed on the basis of a rule that trials of prisoners booked in Islamabad should be held in the relevant prison.

Chief Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC, who was hearing the PTI petition, remarked that Khan is an under-trial prisoner in the cipher case, which was registered in Islamabad.

“Why is an under-trial prisoner kept in Attock jail instead of Adiala jail?” he asked.

Ordering to shift the PTI chairman, the chief justice added, Khan was kept in custody at the Attock jail in the Toshakhana case, which was suspended.

“If tomorrow, you transfer [him] to Rahim Yar Khan, would the trial be held there?” he questioned, seeking a response regarding the matter from AdditionalAttorney General Munawar Iqbal Dogar.

During the hearing, Khan’s lawyer Advocate Sher Afzal Marwat requested that his client be given the facility of an exercise machine. Justice Farooq said it was mentioned that now the A and C classes have been abolished in the jail.

“Now there are general and better classes in the jail, and Imran Khan is entitled to the better class,” said Barrister Salman Safdar, lawyer of the deposed prime minister.

“It is confirmed that the PTI chairman is entitled to the better class, as he is the former prime minister and an educated person,” the chief justice observed.

Justice Farooq maintained that Khan should receive the facilities he is entitled to and that his rights should not be violated.

Meanwhile, amid security concerns, Ministry of Law and Justice issued “No Objection” to conduct jail trial of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in cipher case.

Judge Special Court, Islamabad, established under Official Secrets Act 1923, Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain will hear the case in District Jail Attock on Tuesday (today).

Ministry of Law and Justice on Monday issued a notification with “No Objection” to conduct the cipher case hearing on Tuesday in District Jail Attock against PTI Chairman Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi on request of Judge Special Court under Official Secrets Act 1923, Abdul Hasnat Zulqarnain, due to security concerns.

Notification of the Ministry of Law and Justice says, “In light of rules and orders of Hon’ble Lahore High Court, Lahore, Volume III, Instructions to Criminal Courts Chapter-I, Practice in trial of criminal cases Part A, General (3) read with section 352 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, and on the request of Judge, Special Court (Official Secrets Act, 1923), Islamabad, dated 25.09.2023, Law & Justice Division has ‘No Objection’ on conducting trial of the accused, Mr. Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, due to security concerns, under the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (Act No. XIX of 1923) by the said Judge on 26th September, 2023”.

Copies of the notification have been sent to Secretary Ministry of Interior, Secretary Law and Justice, Registrar Islamabad High Court, Chief Commissioner Islamabad, Chief Secretary Punjab, IG Islamabad Police, IG Punjab Police, Judge Special Court and Superintendent District Jail Attock.

Separately, the Attock Jail superintendent did not present former prime minister Imran Khan in court in illegal nikah case “due to security reason” on Monday. He stated that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman could not be produced in the court due to security reasons.

During the previous hearing, Mufti Saeed, who solemnised the nikah stated in the court that Imran Khan married Bushra Bibi in her ‘Iddat’ period. “Iddat” is the period a woman must observe after the death of her husband or after a divorce, during which she cannot marry another man.

The PTI spokesman reacted strongly to non-production of PTI chairman Imran Khan in courts, calling it a shameful attempt to ‘destroy’ the party and make him a victim of cruel revenge as a political prisoner.

He urged the Supreme Court to take immediate notice of attempts by the state machinery to deprive Imran of justice, adding in order to take hundreds of false cases to their logical conclusion, the Supreme Court should make it possible for him to appear in the courts and pursue the cases against him. He also welcomed noted journalist and senior anchor Imran Riaz’ safe return and termed it encouraging.


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2023-09-26

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