No protective bail unless Imran appears in court: LHC

The Lahore High Court (LHC) has refused to grant protective bail to former prime minister Imran Khan until he appears in person

The PTI chairman had moved the high court on Wednesday after an Islamabad anti-terrorism court rejected his bail earlier in the day in a case pertaining to protests outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)

Hearing the plea, Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh of the LHC asked Imran's counsel why his client could not appear in court

The former premier's counsel defended his client by presenting medical reports related to his health issues

At one point, Justice Tariq asked the counsel to ensure the ex-premier's presence in the court if he wanted protective bail

However, the lawyer kept on stating that his client had been advised by the doctors to take complete bed rest for three weeks

"Ensure the petitioner’s presence—even if he is brought in an ambulance," Justice Tariq remarked during the proceedings

"If you want protective bail you have to produce the petitioner before the court

We are sitting here, you can bring the petitioner

" Also read: ATC rejects Imran's bail in ECP protest case The petitioner’s counsel argued that Imran Khan is not able to appear before the court

"We can send security guards if there is a danger to his life," Justice Tariq argued

The lawyer requested the court to grant the petitioner protective bail from Zaman Park to Islamabad

"We are sitting here since 8 o'clock despite people raising objections that the court is working late at night," Justice Tariq responded

Later, Imran Khan’s counsel left the court’s premises

Meanwhile, PTI leader Chaudhry Fawad Hussain informed the court staffers about two medical reasons for Imran's absence

He said that the doctors had advised him to take complete rest for two weeks

He also apprised the court about the "danger" to Imran's life, adding that an assassination attempt had already been made on the life of the former prime minister

However, he told the staffers that they will comply with what the court has ordered

As the proceedings resumed after a break, the court granted opportunity to Imran's counsels to hold consultation over legal points

The counsel argued that there were some health issues with the petitioner which was why he was unable to appear before the court

Proceedings were adjourned until 8:15pm

When the proceedings restarted a third time, the counsels presented judgements of the courts, arguing that protective bail could be granted in such conditions

On this, Justice Tariq again asked why Imran Khan could not appear before the court

"You are saying he cannot move and I myself watch him daily on television," Justice Tariq remarked

Justice Tariq expressed his displeasure on the intervention of other lawyers, saying it is not a TV talk show

He remarked that the petitioner was given opportunity to appear before the court, but he did not

The LHC subsequently proceedings until Thursday, making it clear that it will not grant the bail without former prime minister's appearance

The PTI chairman had moved the high court after an Islamabad ATC rejected his bail earlier in the day in the ECP protests case

The former premier was on interim bail in the case and the anti-terrorism court had ordered him to come to court in person, but he failed to make appearance yet again

Islamabad police had booked the PTI chief and scores of party workers on terrorism charges in October last year in the wake of protests following his disqualification in the Toshakhana reference

The first information report registered against the party members claimed the protestors had pelted stones at the police and FC officials, leading to many injuries

It further stated that workers of the former ruling party tried ramming police personnel with vehicles, set public property ablaze in Faizabad, and also damaged government property

Date:16-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link