ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed to transfer the former Prime Minister Imran Khan from Attock District Jail to Adiala Jail Rawalpindi.
A single bench of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, on Monday, issued the directions while hearing Khan’s petition seeking directions to transfer him from Attock district prison to Adiala Jail and giving him other facilities in prison.
During the hearing, the IHC CJ observed that the status of the PTI chairman’s sentence has changed, adding all under-trial prisoners of Islamabad are detained at the Adiala jail. He then asked why the PTI chairman has been kept at the Attock jail till date.
Justice Farooq mentioned that according to the “original order” of the Toshakhana case, Imran was to be kept at the Adiala jail. Addressing the Additional Attorney General Manwar Iqbal Dogal, he asked, “If tomorrow, you transfer him to Rahim Yar Khan, then will we hold the trial there?” At this, Dogal replied that when the PTI chairman was detained in the cipher case, the court ordered to detain him at the Attock jail.
Later, Justice Farooq ordered to shift the PTI chairman to Adiala Jail. He also sought a response from AAG Dogal on the matter.
In his petition, Khan’s counsel invoked the constitutional jurisdiction of the court for the transfer of his client from Attock Jail to Central Jail Adiala, Rawalpindi and for giving him all the facilities as per his entitlement under the relevant law, besides seeking his protection in the jail.
In the petition, the counsel requested the court to transfer Imran Khan to Adiala Jail where A-class facilities are available. He added that his family, lawyers, and his personal doctor, Dr Sultan should be allowed to meet him.
He prayed that the petitioner may be declared as entitled to the better class/ A-Class facilities and consequently, the respondents be directed to award A-Class facilities to the petitioner during his period of detention in any jail or Adiala Jail.
He informed the court that on his arrival at the Attock jail, Khan had been confined in a 9 x 11 feet cell with an annexed dirty bathroom. The petitioner has been denied access to his lawyers, family members, personal doctor, political aides, and other relevant persons.
He further said that the legal team visited the jail for executing the power of attorneys, but they were denied access even to reach the dungeon. He continued that the petitioner through counsel has also additional pleas as and when the case is taken up by this court
Therefore, he prayed that while declaring the petitioner’s detention in Attock Jail as illegal, the respondents may graciously be directed to shift the petitioner to the Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi.
Meanwhile, the same IHC bench also reserved its verdict on whether to hold in-camera proceedings in Imran’s petition seeking his post-arrest bail in the cipher case.
During the hearing, lawyers, Salman Safdar, Niazullah Niazi, and Ali Bukhari, among others, appeared as the PTI chief’s counsels. Special prosecutors, Zulfikar Naqvi and Shah Khawar also appeared before the court. At the outset of the hearing, Khawar contended that “there were a lot of things that could not be made public before the court.” He added that the Official Secrets Act mandated that the hearing be held in-camera.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023