Imran Khan's non-bailable warrant converted to bailable in judge threatening case

Court announces verdict on PTI’s chief petition seeking an extension of suspension of warrant

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. — Reuters/File
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. — Reuters/File

  • The court had suspended the PTI chief's arrest warrant till March 29. 
  • PTI chief's lawyer wanted court to set hearing for March 30.
  • A terrorism case was registered against Khan for threatening judge Zeba Chaudhry.

ISLAMABAD: An Islamabad court on Friday converted a non-bailable arrest warrant against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan into a bailable warrant in the case registered against him for threatening a female judge.

The court had announced the verdict hours after it had reserved it on PTI’s chief petition seeking an extension of the suspension of the arrest warrant.

Prosecutor Raja Rizwan Abbasi appeared in the court of additional sessions judge Faizan Haider Gilani who urged the court to make it liable on the PTI chief to appear in court at a future date.

At the outset of the hearing, the judge said that if PTI's lawyers reach by 10:30am, the case would be heard then, including the arguments of all parties. He then adjourned the hearing till 10:30am.

After Imran Khan's lawyer Gohar Ali reached the court, the hearing resumed again.

Ali requested the court to hear his client's case on March 30, as the PTI chief would be appearing for the Toshakhana case hearing on the same date. He said he would file an application in a civil court to change the date on the arrest warrant from March 29 to March 30.

Addressing the lawyer, judge Gilani responded: "It’s strange that you are requesting for March 30 while the date for the arrest warrant is March 29”.

The prosecutor commented that arguments should be given on the merits of the application for the suspension of the arrest warrant.

Lawyer Ali again sought extension of Imran Khan's arrest warrant suspension till March 30.

The judge said that the court can issue any verdict on March 29.

At this, lawyer Ali reiterated that the warrants related to the Toshakhana case are suspended till March 30.

The judge then asked whether Imran Khan had ever appeared before the court in the case against him for threatening a woman judge.

At this, the prosecutor said that the PTI chief has never appeared before the court in this case, and that a copy of the case is yet to be given. Lawyer Gohar Ali does not have a power of attorney in the woman judge threatening case, the prosecutor said.

The court reserved its decision on the request of Imran Khan's legal team.

After a break, the court decided to convert Imran Khan's non-bailable warrant into a bailable warrant.

The court disposed of PTI's warrant suspension plea.

The case

A case had been registered against the former prime minister under the Anti-Terrorism Act for threatening additional sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry and senior police officers of the Islamabad Police during a public rally in August last year.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had then started contempt of court proceedings against the former prime minister.

Later on, the high court had removed the terror charges and also pardoned the PTI chief after he had tendered an apology in the contempt case.

But a similar case had been filed against the PTI chief — after the registration of the first information report (FIR) against him — and is still pending before the sessions court.