The Islamabad High Court here on Tuesday ruled that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan was arrested as per law.
The National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) officials arrested the PTI chairman when he arrived in the Federal Capital from Lahore to appear before the IHC in connection with his bail petitions.
The NAB Chairman NAB had issued Imran Khan’s arrest warrants in the Al-Qadir Trust case on May 1 under sections 9A, 34A, 18A and 24A of the NAB Ordinance 1999. Imran Khan was accused of corruption and corrupt practices.
He would be produced before the relevant court for physical remand by the Bureau within 24 hours.
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Earlier, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq took notice of the arrest of Imran Khan when he was doing his biometric verification before his court appearance, and summoned the Inspector General of Police Islamabad, Secretary Interior and Additional Attorney General to appear within 15 minutes. The IGP and the Additional Secretary Interior appeared before the court. Later, the court held a recess of 30 minutes and also summoned NAB Director General and Prosecutor General to answer in the arrest matter of Imran Khan.
During the course of the hearing, the chief justice asked whether anyone could be arrested from the court premises. The accused would have to be released if the court find any illegality in the arrest of the PTI chief.
NAB Director General Rawalpindi Irfan Baig and Prosecutor General Sardar Muzafar Abbasi appeared before the bench following the court directives.
Justice Aamer Farooq asked what was the procedure for the execution of NAB warrants. Whether NAB adopted the same procedure in every case as the court’s prime concern was whether the arrest was legal or not, he added.
Sardar Abbasi said no accused could be arrested from the courtroom due to the respect of the court.
He said the Bureau had conducted the investigation of the Al-Qadir Trust case in detail. The inquiry was converted into an investigation as per the law on April 28 and then the NAB chairman issued arrest warrants for the PTI chief, he added.
He said the accused did not appear before the NAB investigators at the inquiry stage. Imran Khan would be produced before the relevant court within 24 hours, he added.
The Additional Secretary Interior said the Rangers personnel were already on alert to arrest Imran Khan.
The Inspector General of Police Islamabad said the execution of the arrest warrants was in his knowledge.
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He said it would also be in the knowledge of the police if the deployment of Rangers was required. The Rangers personnel used to be deployed under the command of the police.
Imran Khan’s lawyer Khawaja Haris said NAB should be asked when the inquiry was converted into an investigation, and it was necessary to inform the defence when it was converted.
He said they were going to file an interim bail petition in the Al-Qadir Trust case. The NAB chairman could issue arrest warrants during the investigation of the case, he added.
Khawaja Haris said NAB had served one notice which was answered by his client. An accused could be arrested only when he did not respond to the NAB questions even after repeated notices.
Additional Attorney General Munawar Dogal questioned whether the bar room and the parking area would also be considered court premises.
Khwaja Haris adopted the stance that no one could be arrested from the court premises and access to justice was the basic right of his client.
Naeem Panjutha Advocate prayed to the court to issue orders for the production of Imran Khan before the bench.
The court subsequently reserved its judgement and later announced it declaring Imran Khan’s arrest as per law.