LHC dismisses Imran’s plea for protective bail

Imran’s request for protective bail is denied by the LHC: PTI chief cites a medical issue and a security threat as excuses

Imran Khan, the leader of the PTI, filed a petition with the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday, asking for protective bail in a criminal case brought by the Islamabad Police. The motion was dismissed for non-prosecution on Thursday.

On Monday, he was nonetheless permitted to appear in another petition for bail in a related matter by a single bench.

The bench noted in its written judgement that “the case was brought up at 5.00 pm when the learned petitioner’s lawyer requested an adjournment to bring the petitioner. When the matter was called at 6:30 p.m., neither the petitioner’s attorney nor the petitioner were present, therefore we deferred the case. We are forced to reject the petition for non-prosecution in light of this situation.

Bench head Justice Ali Baqar Najafi questioned the attorney representing Imran about the petitioner’s non-appearance as the session got back underway.

The attorney informed the bench that his client was unable to come owing to health issues. The court noted that there was no advice against Khan walking in the medical records. The attorney also mentioned the decisions giving bail to Suleman Shehbaz and Hamza Shehbaz, brothers of the former chief minister.

The Supreme Court’s rulings, according to Justice Najafi, did not allowed an accused individual to receive protective bail without making a personal appearance. When the bench instructed him to withdraw the petition or have it dismissed, the counsel begged for more time to talk with the petitioner.

The PTI chairman was under life-threatening attack by the Taliban, according to attorney Hassan Niazi, who is also Khan’s nephew. He also wanted some extra time to formulate a concise reply to Khan’s appearance. However, when the court started hearings at 6 o’clock, no one showed up on behalf of the petitioner. The bail motion for non-prosecution was denied by the bench.

Imran requested protective bail in this petition for a case that was filed with the Sangjani police station. The FIR includes a Section 7 ATA offence as well. An anti-terrorist court in Islamabad recently revoked Imran’s pre-arrest bail due to his persistent absences.

Another lawyer, Ghulam Abbas, claimed that Imran was the owner of his signatures. However, the judge stated that the petitioner must submit a personal statement to the court regarding this. The judge postponed the hearing to February 20 after senior attorney Khwaja Tariq Rahim appeared on behalf of the PTI chairman to request time.

It was determined that Imran will appear in court on Monday following a discussion between the PTI legal team, IGP Punjab, and the court security.

The judge instructed the IGP Punjab to speak with the PTI chief’s legal team about security concerns before his appearance at 2:00 PM on Monday, February 20.

Written by Aly Bukshi

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