Imran Khan Invokes 'Immunity' In Cipher Case

IHC sets October 16 as date to hear plea to quash FIR against Imran Khan, a day before he is to be indicted by a special court on October 17

Imran Khan Invokes 'Immunity' In Cipher Case

Just days before his impending indictment in the Cipher Case, former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan invoked immunity accorded him as prime minister. 

A request in this regard was submitted to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday.

"It was further contended that petitioner (Imran Khan) enjoys immunity as provided under Article 248 of the Constitution," read a one-page order issued by the IHC on Saturday after hearing an application filed by Imran seeking to quash the FIR against him in the Cipher Case.

Imran's counsel further contended that the FIR shows that provisions of Section 5 of the act were not applied against his client. 

In the order, the IHC issued a notice to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to submit a response on Monday, a day before Imran and his foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, were due to be indicted.

Imran is accused of violating the Official Secrets Act (OSA) by illegally retaining a copy of the cipher and using it for political gains. 

However, this is the first time that the former prime minister has sought immunity in any case. 

Imran Khan is currently detained in Adiala Jail with his bail application in the Cipher Case pending adjudication. At the same time, a Special Court formed under the Official Secret Act 1923, continues his trial in jail. 

Earlier, his conviction in Toshakhana Case was suspended by the IHC and his release was ordered. 

Article 248

According to Article 248(1) of the Constitution, the President, a Governor, the prime minister, a federal minister, a minister of state, the chief minister and a provincial minister shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise of powers and performance of functions of their respective offices or for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those functions.

The writer is an Islamabad based journalist working with The Friday Times. He tweets @SabihUlHussnain