LHC grants Imran Khan bail in NAB, terrorism cases

PTI chief says too many court cases barring him from electioneering

By
Shahid Hussain

  • Imran Khan gets protective bail in terror case till March 27.
  • PTI chief tells judge he reached high court in "decoy vehicle".
  • Justice Saleem adjourns contempt plea hearing till tomorrow.


LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday approved Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's protective bail in terrorism and corruption cases filed against him.

The former prime minister reached the high court in a "decoy vehicle" to seek protective bail.

Khan had filed two petitions, through his lawyer Salman Safdar, seeking bail in the terror cases filed against him. Justice Shehbaz Rizvi and Justice Farooq Haider took up the pleas.

During the last hearing, the court had directed Khan to ensure his appearance at 2:15pm today (Tuesday) if he wanted the court to hear his plea for protective bail in the cases.

The court had also directed Khan's lawyer to verify his client's signature.

Khan, 70, is facing several legal cases, including one that prompted a failed attempt to arrest him after a court issued warrants for his arrest for not appearing before it.

During today's hearing, the court awarded Khan a protective bail till March 27 (Monday).

Islamabad’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) and the Police Station Golra Sharif had filed cases against Khan and several other PTI leaders following clashes between the PTI workers and the police outside the Federal Judicial Complex after Khan reached there to attend the hearing of the Toshakhana case last week.

According to the police, the protesters resorted to arson and vandalism and attacked the law-enforcement officials who were performing their duty to maintain law and order in the capital.

The FIR stated that the workers destroyed a police checkpost and broke the main gate of the judicial complex.

As many as 18 people were arrested for arson, pelting stones, and vandalising the judicial complex's building, said the FIR.

"About two police vehicles and seven motorcycles were burned, and the official vehicle of the station house officer (SHO) was damaged," it added.

NAB case

Khan had also filed a plea seeking protective bail in two cases filed by NAB against him.

A two-member bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi heard the petition.

During the hearing, Khan said that the myriad of court cases and ongoing litigations had occupied all of his time preventing him from electioneering and awarding tickets to his party's candidates as the poll date was drawing near.

"About 100 FIRs have been filed against me in a single month," he added.

Later, the court approved his bail for 10 days.

Contempt plea

During the hearing of his contempt petition against the police operation at his Zaman Park residence, Khan told the court that police smashed the window panes of his house while his wife was alone in there.

Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh heard the case. 

Khan further informed the court that he was in Islamabad when the police raided his house and he had the footage of the police violating the sanctity of my family's privacy.

The PTI chief said that he used a decoy vehicle today to make it to the court for security reasons and no one knew about it. "Also, I have travelled to the court without any motorcade today," he added.

He said that barriers were placed in different places to prevent him from reaching the court.

Justice Saleem remarked that those who were mocking the judiciary through the media would face consequences.

"I will take contempt of court action [against them] if any of the parties fail to respect the judiciary," he remarked.

The court directed the prosecutor to appear with instructions related to the Zaman Park operation.

Justice Saleem adjourned the hearing of the contempt plea till tomorrow.