As Pakistani Supreme Court in a late evening verdict on May 11, 2023 has termed the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s arrest illegal and according to directives of the apex court Khan will appear before the High Court on May 12 morning, senior generals of Pakistan Army, including chief of Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) are expected to meet Imran Khan during early hours of May 12, 2023 to reach into a “negotiation”, although details of such “negotiation” is still remains secret.
In presence of Imran Khan, Pakistan Supreme Court in a ruling said, “The manner of execution of the arrest warrant issued by the Chairman, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) dated 01.05.2023 in the Al-Qadir Trust case within the premises of the Islamabad High Court against the petitioner [Imran Khan] is invalid and unlawful”.
Imran Khan was whisked away from the Islamabad High Court premises by paramilitary forces, leading to violent protests across the country. The PTI chief had immediately approached the high court for release but it had declared his arrest legal.
Earlier on May 11, 2023, a three-judge bench comprising the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umra Ata Bandial, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Athar Minallah took up Imran Khan’s petition and had directed NAB to present him before court. Subsequently, the PTI chief was presented in court amid tight security a little after 5:45 pm. Khan was taken inside the Supreme Court via the judge’s gate.
In the written verdict, the apex court said that the execution of NAB’s arrest warrant violated the petitioner’s right of access to justice and “the sanctity and safety of the court as he had already surrendered to the court for seeking judicial relief against the action taken by NAB in the Al Qadir Trust case.
In this regard, it highlighted that the fundamental rights of the petitioner under Articles 4,9,10-A and 14 of the Constitution had been infringed.
“The petitioner is directed to be produced before the Islamabad High Court tomorrow i.e. 12.05.2023 at 11 am for hearing of his Writ Petition filed to challenge the NAB action against him in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
“The NAB authorities and the ICT Police shall ensure foolproof security to the petitioner until his production in the Islamabad High Court in this regard”, the court order stated.
The Supreme Court also directed the registrar of the IHC to place the matter before Islamabad High Court Justice Aamer Farooq for the constitution of a bench to hear the case.
It went on to say that to secure Imran Khan’s security until his appearance at the IHC, he “shall remain in the premises where he is presently retained in police custody, namely, the Police Lines Guest house, H-11 Islamabad”.
“Whilst the petitioner is in the Police Guest House, he shall be entitled to meet up to 10 guests, whose particulars shall be provided by him to the concerned Police Officer, subject to security check by the police. These persons shall be allowed to stay with the petitioner as long as desired by him”.
Pakistani Information Minister may face contempt charges
Pakistani Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb threatened Pakistani apex court judges with arson and setting ablaze judge’s house if Imran Khan is released.
Terming Imran Khan as a criminal, Marriyum Aurangzeb claimed that the Supreme Court was supporting those who were burning the country, referring to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
She accused courts of showing bias towards the PTI, calling the party ‘terrorists’ and ‘armed groups’, citing incidents such as the burning of Jinnah House and the house of corps commander.
Marriyum Aurangzeb even went further by stating Pakistani apex court was having romantic relations with Imran Khan.
#BREAKING: Pakistan’s Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb threatens Supreme Court of Pakistan with arson and setting ablaze houses of Judges if Imran Khan is released.
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) May 11, 2023
Following such extremely derogatory comments against Pakistani apex court, Marriyum Aurangzeb may not face contempt charges and even may be removed from the ministerial post as the apex court may hand her imprisonment for a period of six months to one year.
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