ISLAMABAD: The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Monday extended the interim bail of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan in a terrorism case registered against him for his controversial remarks against a female judge during a rally in the city last month.
ATC judge Raja Jawad Abbas, while hearing the case, extended former premier Khan’s interim bail till September 12. At the start of the hearing, Khan’s counsel Babar Awan requested the court to allow entry of his client’s vehicle inside the premises of the judicial complex.
The court approved his request and allow Khan’s car to enter the judicial complex. The judge asked where is the investigation officer (IO) of the case. Did Khan join the investigation, the judge asked? The IO told the court that Khan has not joined the investigation despite issuing him three different notices.
The judge also inquired about the prosecutor. Already two prosecutors have been denotified, the judge said.
Awan told the court that Khan submitted a written statement of Khan before the IO through his lawyer.
The judge asked IO whether Khan’s statement has been made part of the investigation or not. The IO replied that statement of Khan has not been made part of the investigation. The judge questioned IO why his statement has not been made part of the investigation. It shows your malafide intent, the judge told the IO.
The judge remarked that the offence in question is a matter related to Imran Khan’s speech. “Why do you want the accused to appear in person,” he asked.
At this, the prosecutor maintained that the JIT wanted to ask some questions from the accused.
The judge also inquired about the status of the JIT. The JIT has been formed, the IO replied.
Awan told the court that Khan will reach court at 11:00 am. The court adjourned the hearing till 11:00 am remarked that further proceedings of the case will be conducted after the arrival of the accused.
Awan said that he has no trust in the police as in the past prime minister of Pakistan had been killed and police have so far not arrested any accused.
After the break, the motorcade carrying Khan arrived at the Federal Judicial Complex where the ATC is located from his Bani Gala residence amid tight security arrangements before the time fixed by the court. PTI leaders Asad Umar, Faisal Javed, Azam Khan Swati, and others accompanied Khan.
Awan informed the court that his client has arrived and present in the courtroom.
Awan said that he has already told the court that Khan’s statement was given to the investigating officer, is the statement a private letter that is not included in the investigation? It is a case of two lines if the prosecutor wants time because he is notified today.
Khan’s lawyer said that he is ready for an argument but if the prosecutor wants time then he takes it. Special Prosecutor Raja Rizwan Abbas informed the court that the accused has not joined the investigation despite issuing him three notices.
Awan argued before the court that it can issue a show cause notice to the IO for faulty investigation. He said that the IO will not be tried for it but a summary proceeding will be conducted, for which there is two-year imprisonment, he further said.
“There is no legal value of a statement even if the accused confesses to the crime before the police. Why are they putting the condition of in-person appearance for investigations?” he said.
The prosecutor said that the investigation officer or the JIT has to decide the course of investigations. Was anyone’s speech ever been banned in the history of Pakistan? Awan asked.
The judge remarked that both prosecution and the defense decide about the procedure for joining the investigation before the police, we will not pass any order about joining the investigation. The court adjourned the hearing till 2 pm on September 20.
On his way to the courtroom, to a question, Khan again said that he was very dangerous. To another question, he said that do not compare him with Nawaz Sharif, “a thief” and Altaf Hussain, “a terrorist”.
Talking to reporters after appearing before the court, he said that Khan reiterated that in his speech during a rally last month he had stated that he will take legal action against those who have handed Gill to the police on remand despite severe torture.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022