Imran Khan acquitted in 2 cases related to vandalism during long march

Cases were registered against PTI founder at Islamabad's Lohi Bhair and Sahala police stations

Arfa Feroz Zake
Security officers escort Pakistans former Prime Minister Imran Khan, as he appeared in Islamabad High Court, Islamabad, Pakistan May 12, 2023. — Reuters
Security officers escort Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan, as he appeared in Islamabad High Court, Islamabad, Pakistan May 12, 2023. — Reuters

  • Cases were registered at Lohi Bhair, Sahala police stations.
  • Judicial magistrate announces decision favouring Khan.
  • PTI's founder framed in same role in many cases, laywer argues.

ISLAMABAD: A district and sessions court in Islamabad Tuesday granted relief to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan in two different cases pertaining to the vandalism during March 2022 long march on the former prime minister's plea seeking acquittal.

Judicial Magistrate Shaista Kundi accepted Khan's petitions and acquitted him in cases registered at Islamabad's Lohi Bhair and Sahala police stations.

At the outset of the hearing, Khan's lawyer, Advocate Naeem Panjotha, argued that the vandalism, as per the case, took place at his client's behest.

"Several cases were registered in a single day, PTI's founder was [framed] in the same role," he further argued.

He added that neither a notification was issued nor the party was informed regarding the enforcement of Section 144. The lawyer maintained that the plaintiff is the Station House Officer (SHO), who has no jurisdiction to register the case.

"There are no witness statements in the cases filed against the PTI founder," he further argued.

The judicial magistrate asked the counsel if Khan had been acquitted in cases before, responding to which he said: "PTI founder had been acquitted in several cases even earlier."

Following the arguments by the former premier's counsel, the court reserved the verdict, which was announced later.

Khan, the only prime minister to be voted out of his office, is currently imprisoned in Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail as he serves several sentences in the Toshakana, un-Islamic marriage, and the cipher cases.

A failed assassination attempt was also made on Khan's life in November 2022 when he was leading an anti-government rally in Wazirabad. He sustained bullet injuries in his leg.

Courts rejects production plea

Earlier, Panjotha also filed a petition in the court regarding the production of his client for the hearing.

The court, however, rejected the plea citing security concerns.

"Who will be responsible if something happens on the way while bringing PTI founder to court?" the judicial magistrate remarked.

The lawyer argued that Khan has been appearing at the court on his own earlier too.

"It is the government's job to provide security," he said, adding that PTI founder's legal team wanted to give their arguments in his presence.

"Attendance on bail would have been necessary," the judicial magistrate maintained, rejecting the plea.