Pakistan Supreme Court Says Arrest of Ex-PM Imran Khan ‘Illegal’, Orders Immediate Release
Pakistan’s Supreme Court declares the arrest of Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case as illegal and orders his immediate release on interim bail. (Image: Reuters File)
Imran Khan’s arrest declared “illegal” by Pakistan’s Supreme Court, orders immediate release on interim bail.
The supreme court of Pakistan on Thursday declared the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman, Imran Khan, in the Al-Qadir Trust case as “illegal” and ordered authorities to release him “immediately”.
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Following the court’s decision, the former prime minister was directed to approach the Islamabad High Court (IHC) once again on Friday and get a regular bail. He has been released on an interim bail. He is directed to present himself before court at 11am (local time).
The order was pronounced amid high security. The court told the law enforcement authorities and the National Accountability Bureau of Pakistan (NAB) that people come to the court seeking justice and when someone who is in court to surrender themselves they should not be arrested.
Pakistan-based news agency Dawn said the chief justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial said the former prime minister should now approach the high court.
The bench hearing the plea filed by PTI challenging their chief’s arrest said that Imran Khan will have to abide by the verdict given by the high court.
The bench was led by the chief justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and also consisted of justices Athar Minallah and Muhammad Ali Mazhar.
The chief justice told Imran Khan he was “happy to see him” but ordered him to direct his cadres to stop rioting and looting immediately.
““I don’t want any loss in the country nor do I wish for people to get incited. I just want free and fair elections,” the PTI chief told the court.
Imran Khan in his defence said that he did not have access to phones and was not aware of the developments. CNN-News18 said that Khan, while leaving the court, spoke to the media outlets present there and told his party cadres to immediately stop rioting.
CNN-News18 also said that Imran Khan is not fully released and he will be kept in the custody of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court also rejected the PTI chief’s plea where he asked permission to return to Bani Gala and asked him to stay in Police Lines area in capital Islamabad.
“You can stay there, talk, rest and then present yourself before the Islamabad High Court tomorrow,” chief justice Bandial told Khan, according to CNN-News18.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) directed the authorities to permit Imran Khan to meet up to ten people, including lawyers, friends, and family members.
The first reaction from the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on the apex court’s ruling came from Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-(N)) leader and information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb.
Aurangzeb said the chief justice Umar Ata Bandial should step down from the post of chief justice and join the PTI.