An Islamabad district and sessions court has rejected the exemption plea of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former premier Imran Khan in a case related to a threatening woman judge, Zeba Chaudhry, and issued non-bailable arrest warrants with directives to produce him before the court on April 18.
During today’s hearing, Imran Khan’s lawyer requested the judge reinstate his client’s bailable warrants in the matter of threatening a female judge. He contended that because his client had already narrowly avoided an assassination attempt, his life was at risk.
On the other hand, the prosecution persisted in issuing non-bailable warrants.
While announcing a verdict, Judicial Magistrate Malik Aman rejected Imran Khan’s plea for an exemption and issued non-bailable warrants against him. He also gave the order to produce Imran Khan on April 18.
On March 24, an Islamabad court converted a non-bailable arrest warrant against Imran Khan into a bailable warrant in the case lodged against him for allegedly threatening a woman judge.
In response to Imran Khan’s petition requesting an extension of the stay of the arrest warrant, the court delayed its judgment until announcing the decision hours later.
Raja Rizwan Abbasi, the prosecutor, appeared before additional sessions judge Faizan Haider Gilani and urged the court to order Imran Khan to appear in court at a later time.
The court said at the beginning of the hearing that if PTI’s attorneys arrived by 10:30 am, the case—including the arguments of all parties—would be heard at that time. The hearing was subsequently postponed until 10:30 am.
The session continued once Gohar Ali, the lawyer for Imran Khan, arrived in court.
In order to accommodate the PTI chief’s appearance for the Toshakhana case hearing on the same date, lawyer Gohar Ali asked the court to hear his client’s case on March 30. In order to change the date on the arrest warrant from March 29 to March 30, he declared that he would submit an application in a civil court.
“It’s odd that you are asking for March 30, yet the date for the arrest warrant is March 29,” the court said in response to the lawyer.
The prosecutor said that arguments should be made regarding the merits of the request to suspend the arrest warrant.
Imran Khan’s attorney, Ali, re-filed a request to extend the suspension of the arrest warrant until March 30. The judge stated that on March 29, the court could provide any decision.
It is pertinent to mention here that Imran Khan was accused of threatening a female judge after he threatened to “take action” against Zeba Chaudhry, an additional district and sessions judge, and other police officials for what he called their biassed treatment of Shahbaz Gill, his then chief of staff, at a rally in F9 Park on August 20.
He claimed that even though the session judge was aware that Shahbaz Gill was tortured, she still refused to grant him bail.