ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted protective bail to PTI Chairman Imran Khan till October 7 in a case lodged against him for his controversial remarks against female judge Zeba Chaudhry and police officers during a rally in Islamabad on August 20.
The IHC approved the protective bail plea against Rs10,000 surety bonds as the court opened on Sunday, Geo News reported. Imran Khan was also given an exemption from appearance before the court.
The petition was filed by Babar Awan on behalf of the PTI chair, a day after a magistrate of Islamabad’s Margalla Police Station issued an arrest warrant for Imran Khan in the contempt case.
During the course of proceedings, IHC Judge Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani directed Imran Khan to appear before the court concerned. The FIR registered against Imran Khan includes four sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), including 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 189 (threat of injury to public servant) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
It is pertinent to mention here that the anti-terrorism court, on September 20, transferred the case to a sessions court following the IHC’s order to remove the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) sections from the case.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that Imran Khan should be punished in order to dispel the impression about him of being a blue-eyed boy. Sanaullah has already said the coalition government will not detain the PTI chair and that Imran’s arrest warrant had to be issued because an accused was required to appear before a magistrate, but Imran did not.
The minister told Geo News on current affairs programme ‘Naya Pakistan’ on Saturday that a judge issues an arrest warrant if the accused fails to appear before the court. “This is a routine warrant issued under bailable clauses,” he added, ruling out Imran Khan’s arrest.
Discussing the case, the interior minister said the IHC only dismissed the anti-terrorism provisions of the case. The court has not disposed of the case, he said. Censuring the PTI chair, Sanaullah said he had compromised the independence of the country. “His (Imran’s) crime is not pardonable. Parliament will discuss it, and lawmakers will ratify any decision that is made unanimously at the floor of the House.”
A First Information Report (FIR) was registered against the former prime minister on August 20 under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) for threatening the Additional Sessions Judge and senior police officers of the Islamabad Police at a rally in the federal capital’s F-9 Park.
The FIR was registered on the complaint of magistrate Ali Javed at Islamabad’s Margalla Police Station under Section 7 of ATA. Following this, Imran Khan managed to secure transit bail till August 25 from the IHC but was asked to approach the ATC as it was the relevant forum. Then, the trial court extended the interim bail till September 12 in the terrorism case.
Later, the ATC granted an extension in the pre-arrest bail plea of PTI Chairman Imran Khan till September 20, in a terror case. On September 20, the ATC transferred the terror case registered against PTI Chairman Imran Khan to a sessions court following the IHC order to remove the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) section from the case.
On September 30, a magistrate of Islamabad’s Margalla Police Station issued the arrest warrant for PTI chief Imran Khan due to his non-appearance in court. Meanwhile, Sindh Minister for Information Sharjeel Inam Memon, while reacting to Imran Niazi’s pre-arrest bail approval, said that Imran Niazi got bail on Sunday. “Is this facility available to every Pakistani?” he asked.