Pak courtroom strikes down notification to maintain Imran Khan in judicial lockup
The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday declared null and void the official notification of the Pakistan authorities for the jail trial of former prime minister Imran Khan within the cipher case by which he’s charged with leaking state secrets and techniques.
The two-member bench issued its reserved judgment on an intra-court attraction by the previous prime minister towards the only bench verdict of the identical courtroom that had turned down the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman’s attraction towards his trial within the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.
The trial is being held within the Adiala Jail, the place 71-year-old Khan has been stored since September 26 when shifted there from District Jail, Attock.
The Ministry of Law issued a no-objection certificates (NOC) for the jail trial of Khan as requested by the Interior Ministry and particular courtroom Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain on August 29.
Earlier within the morning, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) panel of justices Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Saman Rafat Imtiaz heard the intra-court attraction of Khan and reserved the judgment after finishing the listening to course of.
According to the quick verdict, the federal government’s notification of August 29 to carry the jail trial of Khan was declared unlawful. However, the courtroom said that there was no bar on the jail trial of an accused in case of extraordinary circumstances and it was as much as the decide to maintain such trial open or in-camera.
The two-member bench mentioned that the trial decide ought to give a ruling in favour of a jail trial and the federal government following the ruling ought to difficulty a notification for a similar.
According to the quick judgment issued by the courtroom, the IHC accepted the intra-court attraction towards the decision of its single-member bench of October 16.
It additionally refused to provide retrospective impact to the choice of the Cabinet of November 15 that sanctioned the jail trial.
The courtroom additionally upheld the appointment of Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain, who’s conducting Khan’s trial below the Official Secrets Act.
There was some confusion over the influence of the decision on the destiny of Khan’s trial in jail because the courtroom accepted the attraction on procedural and technical grounds.
Senior lawyer Yasin Azad advised Samaa TV after the decision that the jail trial got here to a halt after the decision however the authorities can deal with the lacunae within the process adopted for the trial. “The government can also file an appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court,” he mentioned.
He additionally mentioned that the decision has no influence on the proceedings adopted thus far, that means that Khan’s indictment nonetheless stood intact.
However, lawyer Abid Zuberi said that the courtroom by rejecting the jail trial additionally nullified all of the proceedings and actions taken thus far through the jail trial. “The verdict has rejected the jail trial right from the beginning,” he mentioned.
Jehangir Jadoon, former Advocate General of Islamabad, mentioned that the courtroom granted the attraction on technical grounds as a result of it rejected the process adopted by the federal government for Khan’s jail trial. “Some of the finer details will be cleared once the detailed judgment is issued,” he mentioned.
In March 2022, Khan and his international minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had been alleged to have violated the secrecy legal guidelines of the nation whereas dealing with a communication (cipher) despatched by Pakistan’s embassy in Washington. The diplomatic cable reportedly went lacking from Khan’s possession.
The duo, who had claimed that the cable contained a risk from the United States to topple the PTI’s authorities, was indicted on October 23. Their formal trial has begun with the recording of statements by the witnesses two weeks in the past.
The IHC had upheld the indictment when challenged by Khan. However, the IHC had stayed the trial till adjudication on the intra-court attraction.
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