LAHORE, (MANEND NEWS): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday apprised the Lahore High Court (LHC) that he had “concrete information” of another “attack” at his Zaman Park residence during the Eid holidays, requesting that the police officials be prevented from arresting him in order to avoid any bloodshed “planned” by them.
The former prime minister made this claim during a hearing on his petition filed in the LHC seeking directives for the quarters concerned for not taking any coercive measures in connection with the 121 FIRs registered against him.
Imran apprised the court that the incumbent government did not want to incarcerate him, rather they aimed to “eliminate” him as they had attempted in Wazirabad.
The PTI chief alleged that the situation at his Zaman Park residence would deteriorate if it was attacked again.
Imran added that despite agreeing with the ToRs and court orders, police officials had attacked his residence which was “equal to committing contempt of court”.
He took to the rostrum twice, reiterating that those who wanted to eliminate him were sitting in the government and that they “wanted bloodshed, not relief”.
However, the division bench, headed by Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh, after hearing the Imran’s counsel as well as the law officer first adjourned the proceedings for a short time.
As the hearing resumed after the break, Justice Sheikh sent this matter to LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti to constitute a larger bench on it.
As the proceedings commenced, Imran’s counsel Barrister Salman Safdar argued that the registration of cases was in full swing. “The mala fide of the quarters concerned can be judged through the way in which over 100 FIRs have been registered. The police officials have been made complainants in all the FIRs, wrong insertions of 7ATA have been made in FIRs, same-nature cases are registered and the content has been taken from Imran Khan’s speeches.”
Barrister Safdar said, “It is astonishing that a police official was made the complainant instead of making the petitioner who was attacked.”
Same was witnessed in the Ali Bilal, popularly known as Zille Shah, murder case, Safdar argued.
“We have obtained bails as well as protective bails in all cases but if the petitioner’s arrest is required in any case, the police can disclose it before the court.”
He said, “This court has also to examine whether the petitioner’s political party is a criminal party as FIRs are being registered against its leaders.”
The counsel argued that PTI leaders Ali Zaidi, Fawad Chaudhry, Shahbaz Gill and others were subjected to political victimisation.
Senior Advocate Azhar Siddique’s residence was attacked with petrol bombs, he added, arguing that there were precedents where the circumstances had been relaxed in respect of religious/Islamic events.
“When the neighbouring country, India, normally ceases fire at borders during Muharram then why the police officials cannot be restrained from arresting Imran Khan during Eid holidays?” he asked, adding that in Gill and Imran’s matters, the police officials had been restrained from taking any coercive measures but the officials did not bother to comply with the court’s orders.
On the other hand, the law officer strongly opposed the version of Imran’s counsel, arguing that no illegality occurred in any matter as being portrayed.
He argued that since 1971 to date, there were a lot of judgments, which declined the similar requests. The judgments restrained anyone from influencing and intervening into the investigation process.
He argued that this plea, which petitioner Imran filed, did not fall under the jurisdiction of this court.
“The petition should not be entertained relying upon mere apprehensions,” he argued.
He also quoted the judgment of Supreme Court’s Justice Ijazul Ahsan wherein he disagreed with the LHC’s order of informing someone prior to his/her arrest.
Justice Tariq asked Imran’s counsel about citations of the law officer to which Barrister Safdar argued that those cases were of different nature, adding that those were NAB cases. “And their cases are about false registration of FIRs, illegal formation of JIT, seeking case details registered against them, illegal appointments of officials and others.”
However, the bench after hearing the law officer and the petitioner’s counsel sent the case file to CJ Bhatti proposing constitution of a larger bench on the issue.
As the judge was dictating the order, Barrister Safdar also requested the court to fix this matter on the same day.
However, the judge placed this request before CJ Bhatti.
The petitioner filed a plea seeking direction to the quarters concerned to declare that the unprecedented repeated abuse and misuse of criminal law machinery of the state to register criminal cases against him amounts to violation of the contours of Section 154 of the CrPC 1898 causing grave unlawful and illegal violation of the “petitioner’s fundamental rights under several articles of the Constitution of Pakistan”.
“The repeated practice of lodging FIRs with police as the complainant while ignoring the petitioner’s complaint amounts to a colourable exercise of powers granted under relevant law and such dishonest ouster of petitioner’s legitimate claims is a violation of inter alia the petitioners right of access to justice, as well as the limits and operation of Section 154 of the CrPC 1898 as defined by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Therefore, it is requested to the court to refrain the respondents from repeating this practice against the petitioner.”
It is requested to the court to “declare that the practice of lodging different FIRs all over Pakistan over the same occurrence and practice of unnecessarily prolonging the incarceration of an accused by transferring them from one jurisdiction to another is a deliberate and violation of fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution and further refrain the concerned quarters from undertaking this practice against the petitioner and their workers and leaders.”
The petitioner also sought direction for not taking any coercive action against the petitioner in various pending proceedings in pursuance of all FIRs, call-up notices, inquiries till the final disposal of this petition.
Imran also requested the court to pass directions to the quarters concerned to provide details of the FIRs and criminal proceedings initiated against the petitioner.
The petitioner requested the court to declare that the actions of the respondents amount to a violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners and political victimisation in violation of the Constitution and consequently issue appropriate orders restraining them from initiating any criminal proceedings against the petitioner without prior notice and or an opportunity of being heard in the presence of his counsel.