Wednesday, October 12, 2022
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday granted protective bail to PTI Chairman Imran Khan till next week in the prohibited funding case and directed him to approach the relevant court, reported Geo News.
The PTI chief was granted bail against surety bonds of Rs5,000 till October 18 in the prohibited funding case registered by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after he reached the court on the orders of Chief Justice Athar Minallah.
Once the hearing resumed, the additional attorney general contended that protective bail is granted in a case where the matter is of a different province.
But Khan’s lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar told the court that they reached out to the high court as the special court had refused to hear the bail pleas of two of the suspects in the case.
“We had no other option but to reach out to the high court,” the lawyer told Justice Minallah.
At this, the IHC CJ observed that the special court should hear the bail application in this case.
Upon hearing the remark, the government’s lawyer also admitted before the court that they were shocked over the special court’s decision.
The IHC CJ stated that if there is an issue his court will grant bail to the PTI chief till the case is taken up by the special court.
“We are approving protective bail,” said Justice Minallah. He added that the court would keep the case under trial at this time and will hear the plea if the problem is not resolved.
At this point, Khan’s lawyer Barrister Safdar started arguing on the merits of the case. However, Justice Minallah observed that the counsel wants to get the case dismissed.
“This is our wish,” the lawyer told the judge. However, he was informed by the judge that legal options for the dismissal of the case were in front of him.
The PTI chief had approached IHC today for protective bail but the plea was rejected by the court’s registrar with objections. However, the objections were removed when IHC CJ took up the petition for a hearing.
When Justice Minallah heard the plea, earlier today, the PTI chairman’s lawyer informed the court that there is a threat of Imran Khan’s arrest.
At this, the IHC CJ asked the lawyer where his client was and why had he not appeared before the court.
“If the court orders Imran Khan will appear before it immediately,” the lawyer told the judge,
Upon hearing this, the IHC CJ told the lawyer to ask his client to appear at 3pm today.
However, the lawyer said that it would be very late and his client can come to court in 30 minutes.
“Okay, then come [by then],” IHC CJ told the lawyer.
The court also barred the police from arresting the PTI chief till he appears in court and stopped the police from “harassing” him.
A day earlier, the FIA booked PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the prohibited funding case as the agency ramped up the investigation into the matter.
The first information report (FIR) registered against the former prime minister has been lodged at the FIA's banking circle police station.
In the FIR, the federal agency alleged that the Abraaj Group transferred $2100,000 to the PTI account in the branch of a bank situated at Jinnah Avenue in Islamabad.
Abraaj Group was a private equity firm, operating on six continents, which is currently in liquidation due to accusations of fraud.
In addition, the party received more financing from two bank accounts of Wotan Cricket Club, read the FIR.
The FIA said the manager of the private bank helped the agency in its probe into the questionable transactions.
Besides Khan, Sardar Azhar Tariq, Tariq Shafi, and Younis Aamir Kiani have also been nominated in the FIR. The FIA said the affidavit submitted to the ECP by businessman Arif Naqvi was also false.
The FIR also mentioned the manager of the same bank branch had also been nominated in the case. It added that there were 12 foreign currency transaction reports and suspicious transaction reports that had to be reported by the bank officials to the concerned authorities, but they failed to do so.
The FIR alleged the branch's operations manager had also failed to report these illegal transactions to the concerned authorities.
The FIR came just a day after IHC issued a notice to the FIA in the prohibited funding case after PTI asked the court to stop the agency from probing the case.
The FIA has time and again summoned PTI leaders for questioning, however, not all of them have shown up.
On October 10, a district court in Lahore sent PTI leader Hamid Zaman on a 14-day judicial remand in the prohibited funding case.
The FIA had registered a case against Zaman, a trustee of the Insaf Trust, over prohibited party funding.