Toshakhana case: IHC orders Imran Khan to approach trial court for relief

ISLAMABAD (APP) - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday maintained the non-bailable arrest warrants of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case, directing him to approach the trial court for relief.

The court asked the PTI lawyer to submit an undertaking regarding the appearance of Imran Khan before the sessions court which would view the matter as per law.

Chief Justice Aamer Farooq announced the verdict which was earlier reserved on the petition filed by Imran Khan against his non-bailable arrest warrants issued by the trial court in the Toshakhana case.

The court heard the case after the removal of the objections of the Registrar Office.

Earlier during the hearing, the petitioner’s lawyer Khawaja Haris adopted the stance that the IHC had previously suspended the arrest warrants of Imran Khan and ordered him to appear before the trial court on March 13, but he could not attend the proceedings on that day.

To the court’s query, the lawyer said his client was present at his residence on the said date, while they had told the sessions court that the complaint against him was not maintainable. Legal procedure was not followed as the District Election Commissioner was not authorized to file a complaint against his client. Only the Election Commissioner of Pakistan (ECP) could lodge a such complaint as per law.

Khawaja Haris also produced the undertaking of Imran Khan, which was received through WhatsApp. The chief justice observed that it was mandatory for the accused to comply with the summons and appear before the court. The IHC had instructed the accused to appear before the trial court on March 13, otherwise, his arrest warrants would be restored.

Justice Farooq said the respect of the courts was very important and the law should be implemented without any discrimination. The trial court’s order was intact until it was terminated by it, he added.

Justice Farooq remarked that with violence in Lahore, the world was told that “we don’t follow the law”. The activists and workers of a political party were attacking the police, which was, in fact, an attack against the state as the police personnel were deputed by the state, he added.

He asked whether anyone in the United Kingdom even touched the uniform of a policeman there.

Earlier addressing Imran Khan’s lawyer, the chief justice said they were responsible for what was happening in Lahore. The court had given a way out to the accused previously.

Advocate General Jahangir Jadoon said Imran Khan’s lawyer had for the first time given an undertaking that his client would appear before the court on March 18. "Whether he would quit the profession if the accused did not attend the proceedings on that date?" he added.

Additional Attorney General Munawar Dogal said that the accused’s conduct was before the court, who had also given a similar undertaking earlier. After hearing arguments, the court reserved the judgment and announced it later.

Earlier, the court heard the petition along with the objections of the Registrar Office. The court removed the two objections from the judicial side regarding the biometric verification and signatures of Imran Khan.

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