LHC orders Imran Khan to join probe in all cases by May 5

Directive comes during hearing of Imran Khan's petition against registration of 121 cases on him

Shahid Hussain
PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — PTI Twitter/File
PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — PTI Twitter/File

  • Court seeks Punjab govt's report after completing probe by May 8. 
  • Imran Khan agrees to follow LHC directive.
  • Says he is not running from cases but "should have less exposure".

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday directed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to join the investigations in all the cases registered against him by Friday.

"Join the investigations by 2pm on Friday," a three-member bench of the high court ordered the PTI chief while hearing his petition against the registration of 121 cases against him.

A three-member bench of the high court comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh and Justice Aalia Neelum heard the plea.

Khan had filed the plea seeking dismissal of 121 cases registered against him, last month. However, the plea was later amended and now it only challenged the registration of these cases. The plea nominates the federation of Pakistan, the province of Punjab, Punjab Inspector General Dr Usman Anwar, and other provincial and federal authorities, as parties. 

Moreover, the court also directed the Punjab government to submit a report after completing the investigations by May 8. 

The lawyer contended that there was no case against Imran Khan during his 71 years of life.

At this, the court asked why were the cases being filed after the change of government. "They [the petitioner] is claiming that the cases were being registered to keep [him] away from the elections.”

Responding to the court’s query, the lawyer representing the Punjab government said that the PTI chief was seeking additional relief as a former premier.

Justice Baqir then inquired about the cases against Imran Khan and their status.

At this, the Punjab government council argued that Khan didn't join the investigations in any case.

To this, Justice Neelum sought a guarantee from Khan’s lawyer that he would join the probe. She said that the court was giving the petitioner time to join the probe in all the cases.

However, Justice Sheikh remarked that an appearance before the investigation officer (IO) was a must.

Khan's lawyer assured that they would join the investigation in all cases while requesting the court to allow appearance via video link.

"We are ready to work under the laws and Code of Criminal Procedure," Barrister Safdar added.

At this point, PTI chief Imran Khan requested the court to allow him to speak for a few minutes.

"I am not running away from the cases but I should have less exposure," he said, contending that he was facing threats to his life.

“Trust the court,” Justice Baqir said.

Khan agreed to follow the court's directive in this regard after which the case was adjourned till Monday.