Pakistan High Court upholds arrest of ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan – Times of India

Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday night upheld Imran Khan’s arrestHe said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) completed all legal formalities during the arrest of the former prime minister, dashing his party’s hopes.
The court issued its reserved judgement, upsetting the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which claimed that the arrest was illegal and that the IHC would rule in favor of party chief Imran Khan.
The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday summoned top officials and police officers after Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan was dramatically arrested from the court premises in a corruption case, but reserved its verdict.
Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Amir Farooq took notice of the arrest by paramilitary Rangers when the PTI party chief was present in the court to mark his biometric attendance before the start of the hearing in the corruption case.
The 70-year-old Khan, who was traveling from Lahore to the federal capital Islamabad, was arrested after Rangers broke a glass window and beat up lawyers and Khan’s security staff.
The cricketer-turned-politician’s arrest comes a day after the powerful military accused him of leveling baseless allegations against a senior spy agency ISI official.
The IHC summoned various officials and heard arguments on the merits of the arrest and whether or not it was legal to arrest anyone present inside the court.
The Chief Justice had reserved the decision after hearing the matter.
The Chief Justice initially ordered the Interior Secretary, Inspector General (IG) Police Islamabad and other officials to respond to the arrests within 15 minutes.
The chief justice said he was showing “restraint” in the matter and warned of summons to the prime minister if the Islamabad police chief failed to appear.
Justice Farooq said, ‘Come to the court and tell us why and in what case Imran has been arrested.’
IG Akbar Nasir Khan duly appeared before the court and said that Khan was arrested by NAB in a case involving him and his wife Bushra Bibi on charges of alleged corruption.
Khan’s counsel Faisal Chowdhary told the court that the PTI chief was illegally arrested when he was present inside the court to mark his biometric attendance.
Another lawyer for Khan, Barrister Gohar Khan, claimed that during the arrest, the cricketer-turned-politician was hit on the head with an iron rod and injured his leg.
Khan’s other lawyer Khwaja Harris said the court should act against NAB as Khan was arrested from inside the court, violating the sanctity of the court.
After hearing the lawyers, the Chief Justice summoned the NAB officials before taking a break. When the court resumed, Director General NAB Rawalpindi Mirza Irfan Baig appeared along with Deputy Prosecutor General NAB Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi.
Abbasi told the court that the anti-corruption watchdog has the legal right to arrest Khan, who had failed to join the probe in the case.
“The accused can be arrested from anywhere if he shows resistance,” he said.
Advocate Harris opposed the NAB’s argument saying that the arrest was made in violation of rules and the court should take action.
“The court should quash the arrest as it is illegal and NBA should be ordered to set Imran Khan free immediately,” he added.
Following Khan’s dramatic arrest, supporters of the former prime minister stormed the Pakistan Army headquarters in the military city of Rawalpindi and the corps commander’s residence in Lahore.
Khan has been facing multiple cases since he was ousted from power through a no-confidence motion in April last year. He has dismissed all these cases as political harassment by the ruling coalition.
Currently, Khan has said that he is facing over 140 cases related to terrorism, blasphemy, murder, violence and inciting violence.