ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday termed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan’s arrest “illegal” minutes after PTI chief reached Supreme Court after a three-member bench ordered the authorities to produce him before the court.
The three-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Athar Minallah along with the CJP, while hearing the former prime minister’s plea against his arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case, termed Imran Khan’s arrest by Rangers from inside courtroom “illegal” and ordered his immediate release.
The court ordered the PTI chief to appear in Islamabad High Court tomorrow.
Earlier, the court ordered National Accountability Bureau and Islamabad IGP to produce Imran Khan within 30 minutes before the court which meant he was to be presented in the court at 4:30 PM but police said security arrangements caused delay in his appearance before SC.
The legal team of Imran Khan led by Hamid Khan appeared before the court in the morning. Hamid Khan in his arguments before the SC said that Imran Khan came to IHC for bail but he was arrested from the court premises.
My client was in the room for biometrics from where he was arrested by the personnel after breaking into the room.
SC bench head, CJP Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked how a person can be arrested from the premises of the court. People come to courts for justice, he added.
He asked how many people came to arrest Imran Khan. 80 to 100 Rangers personnel entered the court premises and arrested him, Salman Safdar replied.
“Where will the prestige of the court stand when Rangers personnel enter its premises.”
Contempt of court proceedings were carried out in the past over vandalism in the court against lawyers in the past, the CJP remarked.
He remarked that permission should be taken from the Registrar IHC before arrest from the court premises.
The top judge remarked NAB disgraced the judiciary by arresting Imran Khan from the court premises.
He said National Accountability Bureau (NAB) committed such acts in the past too after which officials apologized and assured him the same thing will not happen again, but it was repeated again.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed everyone should feel protected on the court premises. We will restore the prestige of the court. Contempt of court will not be tolerated, we will issue an order in the case today, the CJP remarked.
Justice Athar Minallah in his remarks said NAB has been doing such acts for many years. NAB had been arresting elected representatives with disgrace.
This is not the way to respect the court, Justice Minallah added. NAB has not learned any lessons from the past.
Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, another member of the bench, asked Imran Khan’s lawyer why his client did not join NAB’s inquiry. It is clear that Imran Khan has not acted on NAB notices.
Has Imran Khan not violated the law, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar asked. Imran Khan responded to every notice of the NAB, PTI chief’s lawyer replied.
After being summoned, NAB Prosecutor General Asghar Haider appeared before the court. The SC bench asked how the compliance with the warrant was done. I’m unaware of the matter and will update the court about the matter.
The PTI had filed a petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) decision calling party chief Imran Khan’s arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) “legal”.
Terming the judgment ‘full of flaws’, Imran Khan termed the arrest warrants issued by the NAB ‘illegal’ and added that he did not receive notice of transforming the inquiry into the investigation.
The amount which is being termed as corruption by the NAB is already deposited into the Supreme Court’s account and the government can transfer it anywhere it wants from there, the plea stated.
Imran Khan’s arrest
Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Al-Qadir Trust case on Tuesday.
The PTI chief was taken into custody by Rangers personnel, who were acting on the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) warrant, from the premises of Islamabad High Court where the former premier had gone to seek bail in multiple cases registered against him.
Read more: Imran Khan’s arrest termed legal by IHC
Later on, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) termed the arrest of the former premier and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman ‘legal.’
Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Aamer Farooq heard the petition challenging PTI chief’s arrest. The court also issued contempt court notices to Interior Secretary and IG Islamabad