SC Declares Imran Khan's Arrest 'Unlawful', Orders Release

SC Declares Imran Khan's Arrest 'Unlawful', Orders Release
The Supreme Court on Thursday declared the arrest of PTI chairman Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case illegal, and ordered his immediate release.

Earlier today, the apex court ordered the Inspector General Islamabad Police Dr Akbar Nasir Khan to produce Imran in the court by 4:30pm.

While hearing the plea filed by PTI challenging the detention, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial remarked that Imran's arrest from the premises of Islamabad High Court was a "mighty disgrace" to the legal system of the country.

The plea was heard by a three-member bench. Apart from CJP, the bench comprised Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar.

During the hearing, the PTI chief’s lawyer, Hamid Khan, informed the court that Imran Khan had come to the IHC in order to acquire an extension in his interim bail. Rangers personnel broke into the room as the PTI chief was having his verification done, he added.

He also stated that "Rangers misbehaved with Imran Khan" and arrested him.

CJP Bandial then inquired about the case in which Imran Khan was requesting an extension of his bail.

On this point, Justice Athar Minallah inquired if a plea can be filed before the bio-metric verification is conducted.

At this, the lawyer added that Imran went for bio-metric verification because a plea can't be submitted before that.

"Why did NAB take the law in its hand? It would have been better for NAB to seek permission from the IHC registrar," Justice Minallah observed.

Read this too: Imran To Stay At Guesthouse, Meet People After SC Orders Release

He stated that every person had the right to obtain justice and SC has to assure its availability. The judge also regretted the current situation in the country.

"The sanctity of the court was affected by the arrest from the court premises," CJP Bandial remarked. Meanwhile, the CJP inquired about the number of personnel who detained Imran Khan.

At this, Khan's other lawyer Salman Safdar responded that approximately 80-100 personnel were there to take the PTI chief into custody.

CJP said that storming the court with the intention to arrest someone is against the honour of the court. No one would feel safe inside a court anymore, he added.

Meanwhile, Justice Minallah remarked that no one would come to the court if such arrests were made a norm.

"A person who has surrendered before a court cannot be arrested," he maintained.

The court will then review the legitimacy of the NAB warrant and any adherence to it, CJP Bandial added.

"The right to surrender before the court cannot be sabotaged," CJP added.

Khan’s lawyer Safdar informed the court that the security of his client had been withdrawn despite the fact that he was on the ‘hit list of terrorists.’ He also informed the court that NAB's investigation officer wasn't present when Imran Khan was arrested.

At this, Justice Minallah remarked that NAB had been practicing the same strategy with various people for years.