In a major development, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has declared PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case as “illegal”. The court also issued orders for his immediate release.
According to the details, the three-member bench — headed by CJP Bandial and comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar — issued the verdict on PTI’s petition challenging Imran Khan’s arrest.
Earlier, while hearing PTI’s petition, the SC ordered the Islamabad police to present Imran Khan before the court. The SC had also condemned NAB’s arrest of Imran Khan from the Islamabad High Court’s premises, saying it violated court sanctity.
Read more: SC condemns Imran Khan’s arrest from IHC, demands his appearance
Subsequently, Imran Khan was presented in the court amid tight security a little after 5:45 pm, almost two hours late than the time the SC gave. Ahead of Imran’s arrival, security was tightened outside the apex court, with contingents of the Rangers and police, and bomb disposal squads called in. Meanwhile, PTI urged its supporters to stay away from the SC.
As per media reports, after Imran Khan’s arrival in court, CJP Umar Ata Bandial called the PTI chairman to the rostrum and welcomed him.
“It is good seeing you,” CJP Bandial told Khan when he was presented before the three-member bench, and also asked him to “condemn” the violent protests that took place as a result of the arrest.
Read more: Imran Khan’s party leaders arrested as army deployed to quell unrest
While hearing the former prime minister’s plea against his arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case, the SC bench termed Imran Khan’s arrest by Rangers from inside the courtroom “illegal” and ordered his immediate release. The court also ordered the PTI chief to appear in Islamabad High Court tomorrow.
Pertinent to mention that the Islamabad High Court had termed the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case “legal”.