IHC stops banking court from deciding Imran Khan's bail plea in funding case

IHC stops banking court from deciding Imran Khan's bail plea in funding case


Special Judge Rakhshanda Shaheen orders PTI chief to appear before court today

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday stopped a banking court in the federal capital from deciding on a bail petition of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the prohibited funding case.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri heard the petition filed after the banking court ordered the PTI chief to ensure his personal appearance today (Wednesday) and warned of legal action on defying the order.

After hearing arguments, the IHC barred the banking court for issuing any verdict on the bail petition and also sought Mr Khan’s fresh medical reports.

Earlier in the day, Special Judge Banking Court Rakhshanda Shaheen turned a plea filed by the PTI chairman seeking exemption from personal appearance for pre-arrest bail in the funding case.

She had ordered the PTI chief to appear before closing time of the court today.

During the hearing, Mr Khan’s counsel Barrister Salman Safdar sought three-week exemption for his client and also submitted an X-ray report in the court. He said the former premier was recovering from his bullet wounds.

A lawyer for the co-suspects, Mian Ali Ashfaq, said a criminal case could not be registered on the allegations of prohibited funding. He said PTI received funds in its bank accounts in different cities, adding that separate FIRs were registered in these cities. He argued that it was difficult to go after every donor to ask the source of income.

However, special prosecutor Rizwan Abbasi opposed the arguments and asked the court to initiate legal action against Imran Khan for not appearing in the court.

After hearing arguments, Judge Rakhshanda Shaheen rejected the exemption plea and ordered the PTI chief to appear before the court today.

A criminal case, which is being probed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), was registered against Imran Khan after a fact-finding report of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) found irregularities in the funds in August last. Later, the ECP sent the case to the FIA for further investigation.