ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday reserved its verdict on former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s intra-court appeal against jail trail and appointment of the judge in Cipher Case.
A division bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz heard PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s Intra-Court Appeals against his jail trial in the cypher case and announced that short verdict will be issued at 5:30 pm today.
During the today proceedings, PTI chief’s lawyer Salman Akram Raja continued his arguments in the case.
The bench also ordered IHC registrar Tahir Sabir to present the letter written by Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain to the IHC administration for permission to conduct the ex-PM’s trial in jail.
Justice Aurangzeb reminded Attorney General Mansoor Uman Awan’s counsel of the assertion that the judge made the decision due to threats to Mr. Khan’s life.
The court will not delve into the nature of threats mentioned by security agencies but will focus on relevant legal provisions for Judge Zulqarnain’s appointment and the decision to conduct the trial in jail.
Mr. Khan’s counsel argued that security concerns should be based on material available in the record.
Attorney General Awan stated that the government’s decision for a jail trial was an “administration action” challengeable but not assailable under the Law Reforms Ordinance.
The court, however, expressed the view that the administrative order could undergo judicial scrutiny.
Salman Akram Raja also raised an objection to the designation of Judge Zulqarnain as a special court judge.
Justice Aurangzeb pointed out, “The federal government is the competent authority for appointing the judge.”
Mr. Raja countered, asserting that the judge’s appointment necessitated consultation with the chief justice.
He urged the court to declare the trial court proceedings illegal and sought an order for an open-court trial.
The divisional bench reserved its verdict. Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb said the court will announce short verdict in the case today.
A single bench of the IHC had dismissed Imran Khan’s plea for an open trial in the cipher case.