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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday directed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to appear before the banking court on February 28 in the prohibited funding case.

A division bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri heard the petition, wherein, Imran’s lawyer sought relief from the high court in a prohibited funding case being heard in a banking court in Islamabad and also requested the court to allow him for his attendance through a video link in the prohibited funding case

However, the IHC bench rejected the request of Khan for attendance through video and directed him to appear before the banking court till February 28. The court also extended its stay order against the verdict of the banking court on interim bail of former prime minister.

During the hearing, Khan’s lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar presented the fresh medical report of the PTI’s chief and said that the Lahore High Court (LHC) had also granted bail to his client on medical grounds.

The counsel said that a request was filed to the sessions court seeking its directions to form a medical board. He added that although they welcomed the medical board yet there was no need for it.

Special Public Prosecutor Rizwan Abbasi said that nine other bail petitions were also pending in the same case. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had stated that it did not require arrests to the extent of these petitioners, he said, adding that the banking court had confirmed the bail of three bank employees in it.

The prosecutor said that the court had directed Imran Khan to appear before it, submit surety bonds and join the investigation process. He further said that the petitioner neither joined the investigation process nor appeared before the relevant court. He further said that the medical reports of Imran Khan were taken from his own hospital which was not enough to grant relief to the accused.

At this, Justice Tariq said the trial court had given exemption from appearance to Imran Khan nine times and if the prosecution had challenged any of the orders. The prosecutor said that the court had never asked PTI’s chief to reach the court by walking instead the accused was directed to at least reach outside the court. He requested the court to direct the petitioner to appear before the relevant court till February 25.

Additional Attorney General Munawwar Dogal said it was necessary for any petitioner to appear in a personal capacity to get interim bail as per the directives of the top court. He said if the petitioner could appear in one court then why he was not appearing in the other court. The AAG requested the court to turn down the petition of Imran Khan against the order of the banking court.

Justice Jahangiri said that the petitioner had sought just exemption from appearance and requested for some time. Justice Kayani asked whether the Wazirabad incident was investigated and the evidences were collected.

The AAG said that the medical report of the petitioner had stated that there was swelling on his injuries. He asked how long the swelling would last. The PTI chairman’s counsel said that the LHC had stated that in an extraordinary situation it was enough to appear before the court once to get bail. The lawyer said that Imran Khan would appear in the banking court before March 3.

Later, the court directed Khan to appear before the relevant court till February 28 and also barred the banking court to take a decision on his bail case till that date.

In the petition before the IHC, Khan’s counsel challenged the orders of the banking court regarding summoning him in a personal capacity while the banking court had granted the last opportunity to Imran for appearing in the prohibited funding case, lodged by the FIA against him and others.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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