Monday, July 24, 2023

Imran Khan gets relief from SC in Quetta lawyer's murder case

SC stops police from arresting Khan till next hearing while adjourning proceedings on complainant's request

PTI Chairman Imran Khan pictured between security personnel at Islamabad High Court on May 12, 2023.. — APP
PTI Chairman Imran Khan pictured between security personnel at Islamabad High Court on May 12, 2023.. — APP

  • Apex court summons Imran Khan on next hearing on August 9.
  • 3-member SC bench hears PTI chief's plea against murder case. 
  • Khan seeks quashing of FIR in senior lawyer's murder case.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday got another relief as Supreme Court (SC) restricted the police from arresting the former prime minister till August 9 in the case of senior lawyer Abdul Razzaq Shar's murder in Quetta.

The deposed prime minister, who was ousted in a no-confidence vote last April, has a petition subjudice in the SC against his nomination in the case related to Shar's shooting in Quetta in June.

Advocate Shar was gunned down by unidentified people on three motorcycles while he was on his way to the Balochistan High Court (BHC) on June 6.

A first information report (FIR) had been registered against Khan, and others on the complaint of the slain lawyer’s son, Advocate Siraj Ahmed, in Quetta, under the charges of murder, Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and other provisions.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) Ataullah Tarar held the PTI chairman “directly responsible” for the murder, claiming that the targeted killing was related to a treason case against Imran under Article 6 of the Constitution, which Shar was pleading.

A three-member bench comprising Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, and Justice Mussarat Hilali directed Khan to appear before the court on August 9.

At the outset of the proceedings, the PTI chief appeared before the court as directed by the bench on the last hearing.

However, the arguments from the complainant's lawyer couldn't be given due to his absence.

Meanwhile, the Balochistan advocate general requested the court to order the former prime minister to appear before the investigation officer (IO) in the case.

At this, Justice Naqvi inquired why the PTI chief was required to join the probe.

Justice Afridi then directed the government lawyer to take directives on the reason for including Khan in the investigations and state them to the court before the complainant's lawyer on the next hearing.

Later, the court adjourned the hearing till August 9 at the request of the case's complainant.

Khan had moved the SC to quash the FIR that nominated him in the murder case of the advocate Shar. Besides bail in the case, he also requested to set aside the Balochistan High Court’s (BHC) decision to reject a similar petition.

However, the two-member bench of the SC comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsen and Justice Ayesha A Malik rejected Khan's bail plea and refused to suspend the BHC's order without hearing other parties in the matter.

The court held that a two-member bench of the apex court could not suspend the order passed by the learned high court’s two-member bench, directing the PTI chief to approach the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) for fixation of the case before a three-member bench.