Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal on Saturday cancelled the arrest warrants issued for PTI chief Imran Khan in the Toshakhana reference and summoned him for a hearing in the case on March 30.
Issuing the verdict, the judge also postponed the former premier’s indictment in the case, related to the non-declaration of proceeds of the foreign gifts meant for state repository.
Earlier, judge Iqbal allowed Imran to return from the Judicial Complex after he marked attendance from his car, hours after his arrival for the hearing.
Intense clashes were reported from the complex in Islamabad as Imran arrived for his indictment at the district and sessions court of the federal capital, on Saturday.
“All those who have gathered here should disperse. There is no need for shelling or [stone] pelting, the hearing cannot be held today,” the judge was quoted as saying in the news reports.
According to judge Iqbal, the case can be set for hearing at a later date once the signatures are received.
Several people were injured as PTI workers swarmed the scene and police used teargas shells and batons to disperse them.
Addressing a presser, PML-N leader Ata Tarrar said PTI workers accompanying the party chief deliberately engaged in a fight with the security personnel to create a scene.
The Missing File
Meanwhile, the attendance file containing Imran Khan’s signatures has reportedly gone missing. Khawaja Haris, counsel for the former PM, claimed that he had given the file to SP Sameen Malik had, but as per the officer, she was injured during the clash and it wasn’t in her possession.
Imran reached Islamabad via Motorway after departing from his Zaman Park residence to appear in the hearing.
Azam Swati, Aslam Iqbal, Gilgit Baltistan chief minister Khalid Khurshid, and other leaders accompanied the former premier, besides hundreds of party workers.
The sessions court summoned the accused to formally indict him with the charges of the Toshakhana reference case for procedural reasons.
Due to security concerns which were publicly expressed by the PTI chief, additional sessions judge Zafar Iqbal had announced to hold the hearing in the complex in G-11 instead of the F-8 courtroom.
اسلام آباد میں حالات کشیدہ، پولیس اور تحریک انصاف کے کارکن آمنے سامنے۔ pic.twitter.com/NQq0zTtMc5
— Naya Daur Urdu (@nayadaurpk_urdu) March 18, 2023
A day earlier, the Lahore High Court granted protective bail to Imran Khan in multiple cases, hours after the Islamabad High Court suspended his arrest warrants in the Toshakhana case.
The LHC had accepted the plea for bail in nine FIRs, which were filed against the ex-PM in Islamabad and Lahore.
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“You have saved me,” Imran was quoted by news reports as saying to the judges after the verdict, as he thanked them.
In its decision, the court also stopped authorities from all action against the accused until Tuesday.
The sessions court had set January 31 as the date for indicting Imran. But on February 28, a non-bailable arrest warrant was issued due to Imran’s failure to appear before the court.
The sessions court then directed authorities to execute the arrest warrant and produce him in the court.
Later, Islamabad high court suspended the arrest warrant, and ordered Imran to appear on March 13. As Khan failed to appear, the non-bailable arrest warrant was reinstated on March 13.
On March 17, IHC upheld the arrest warrants but stopped the police from arresting Imran Khan, giving the former premier an opportunity to appear voluntarily in the sessions court today.
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