Imran asks SC to stop police from arresting him

The former prime minister and Chairman Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan while addressing a crowd. — AFP/File
The former prime minister and Chairman Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan while addressing a crowd. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Chairman Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Thursday requested the Supreme Court to direct the police chiefs of Punjab, Balochistan and Islamabad to refrain from effecting his arrest in cases where his pre-arrest bail applications were pending before trial courts and were dismissed without due consideration of case merits, thereby, ensuring his rightful access to ‘fair trial’.

The PTI chief filed the petition in the apex court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, making the Federation through the secretary Ministry of Interior, Inspector Generals of Police Punjab, Islamabad, Balochistan, Superintendent of Jail, District Jail, Attock, National Accountability Bureau, through its chairman, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) through the Director General, the Province of Punjab, through the secretary Home Department, the Province of Balochistan through the secretary Home Department, Special Judge, National Accountability Bureau Court, Islamabad, Special Judge, Anti-Terrorism Court, Lahore, and Special Judge, Anti-Terrorism Court, Islamabad, as respondents. Imran Khan filed the petition through his counsels Barrister Salman Safdar, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, Shoaib Shaheen, Barrister Umar Niazi, advocates Niaz Ullah Niazi and Sher Afzal Marwat.

The PTI chairman prayed to the apex court to direct all pertinent federal and provincial institutions and authorities, under the vigilant supervision of this court, to condemn the ongoing unprecedented ‘political victimization’ and curtail any unwarranted exploitation of state machinery that leads to the violation of the petitioner’s constitutionally safeguarded fundamental rights, as this is demonstrably aligned with the ‘interests of justice’.

Similarly, he prayed for the protection of his fundamental rights and to restore the trust and confidence of the public at large in the ‘criminal justice system’ of Pakistan to kindly set aside the trial court’s ‘orders’ dismissing the pending pre-arrest bail petitions, which were dismissed without discussing merits on technicalities, extend its consideration to entertain and accept the present petition, thereby rectifying this grievous miscarriage of justice and to uphold enforceability and effectiveness of constitutional safeguards.

He questioned whether the repeated abuse of criminal machinery for political victimization has not eroded the trust and confidence of the public at large in the criminal justice system? And whether the decision of the trial courts of dismissing pre-arrest bails on technicalities is not violative of articles 4 and 10-A of the Constitution. The PTI chief further questioned whether the learned trial court is not empowered/and has full discretion to order the production of the petitioner from jail premises for deciding the fundamental question of his liberty and freedom?

The former prime minister contended that over the course of the last year, the petitioner has been subjected to relentless political victimization orchestrated by his political adversaries. “These political opponents have consistently abused their power and authority with the agenda of not only delaying the electoral process but also disqualifying the leader who commands immense popularity,” the PTI chief submitted.

Imran claimed that his petition is maintainable and sought the indulgence of the apex court in its original jurisdiction provided under Article 184(3) of the 1973 Constitution, which aims at safeguarding and upholding the fundamental rights of citizens. He submitted that in light of the persistent violation of his constitutionally guaranteed rights and failure to obtain any remedy or respite from the high courts, he is left with no adequate remedy but to turn towards this court, requesting its intervention to enforce and protect his fundamental rights, in light of the observation rendered by this august Supreme Court in the case reported PLD 2009 SC 217.

The PTI chief submitted that an astonishing total of 180 criminal cases have been registered against him, encompassing charges of terrorism, sedition, mutiny, prohibited foreign funding, Toshakhana-related allegations, and corruption allegations initiated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). “These cases have exploited the entire spectrum of the Pakistan Penal Code and various other penal provisions, deploying a range of false accusations with the aim of unjustly implicating and incarcerating the petitioner indefinitely, thereby isolating him from the political sphere,” he contended. He further contended that his prompt and unanticipated arrest in the Toshakhana case, as decreed by a judgment on 05.08.2023 within the Election Commission reference, stands as a glaring testament to the unwavering saga of “political victimization” executed by his political opponents.

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