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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday rejected former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s intra-court appeal against his jail trial in the cipher case, Aaj News reported.

The appeal was filed by PTI chief’s lawyer Salman Akram Raja, who contended that the federal government did not have the authority to issue a notification for holding Imran’s trial in prison.

During the proceedings, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb said the IHC chief justice might form a new bench on the matter after the court removes objections of the registrar.

“However, the court cannot give any interim relief to the PTI chief,” Justice Aurangzeb said, adding that whether the petition is admissible or not will be decided later.

A day earlier, a special court established under the Official Secrets Act indicted the former prime minister and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case, with both politicians pleading not guilty.

The charge is related to a classified cable sent to Islamabad by Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington early last year, which Khan is accused of making public.

The case against the two leaders was registered under sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 r/w Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Under Section 5 titled ‘wrongful communication, etc, of information’, a person if found guilty could be awarded fourteen years imprisonment.

Sub-section 3 stated that a person guilty of an offence under this section shall be punishable.

“(a) where the offence committed is a contravention of clause (a) of sub-section (1) and intended or calculated to be, directly or indirectly, in the interest or for the benefit of a foreign power, or is in relation to any work of defence, arsenal, naval, military or air force establishment or station, mine, mine-field, factory, dockyard, camp, ship or aircraft or otherwise in relation to the naval, military or air force affairs of Pakistan or in relation to any secret official code, 2 [with death, or] with imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years; and (b) in any other case, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.]”

Section 9 titled ‘attempts, incitements, etc’ explains that a person shall be punishable if they incite to commit, attempt to commit, aids or abets the commission of an offence under the Act.

“Any person who incites to commit conspires to commit, attempts to commit, aids or abets the commission of an offence under this Act shall be punishable with the same punishment, and be liable to be proceeded against in the same manner as if he had committed such offence.],” it stated.


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Lubna Oct 24, 2023 07:47pm
What a shame for our judiciary as Nawaz is getting bail while the other side is getting injustice.
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AI Oct 24, 2023 08:49pm
A large part of why Pakistan is lagging behind in the world is due to imbalance of justice and speedier processing of cases on it’s due merit. This is why Pakistanis refer to the court system as Kangaroo courts.
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