IHC warns to cancel bail if Imran failed to appear today

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday warned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan that his interim bail in nine different cases would be cancelled if he failed to appear in court today (Thursday).
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard Khan’s bail pleas in two different cases related to threatening officers of the armed forces and the attempted murder of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha.
During the hearing, the IHC chief justice observed that the law was very clear and equal for all. There was no precedent of exemption from appearance during hearings in a bail petition, Justice Farooq remarked.
“Even if the PTI chairman was granted the exemption, how would his refusal to become part of the investigation be dealt with?” he asked.
Separately, a division bench comprising Justice Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard Imran Khan’s bail pleas in seven cases related to vandalism at the Islamabad Judicial Complex during the PTI chairman’s appearance registered under terrorism clauses.
During the hearing, Khan’s lawyer Salman Safdar filed an application requesting the court to grant the former exemption from today’s hearing and stated that it was the first time the application was being filed on medical grounds.
He apprised the bench that Khan had injured his leg — which was wounded during an attempt on his life last year — during an appearance at the Lahore High Court a day earlier. The PTI chairman’s leg swelled up and he was taken to hospital yesterday evening, he added.
“It takes time for a wound to heal at the age of 71,” he contended. However, CJ Farooq questioned why the PTI chief did not get treated at a government hospital as the medical report was from a private hospital. “You know that only a report from a government hospital is acceptable in criminal cases,” the judge observed.
Meanwhile, Justice Aurangzeb observed: “Sometimes there is a threat, other times his [Khan’s] leg hurts. He has not appeared in the last four hearings because he is ‘privileged’.”
He further remarked that if Khan was granted an exemption, any criminal in the future could cite the case as an example and say that a precedent existed for obtaining bail without appearing in court.
When Khan’s counsel said the PTI chief would appear once two of the cases were transferred to the relevant district courts, the IHC CJ remarked, “He [Khan] will appear on a day the sun shines brightly and the birds are chirping.”
Subsequently, the counsel assured the court that Khan would appear tomorrow even if he did so in an ambulance. At this, the judge warned Safdar that the PTI chief’s bail would be cancelled if he failed to appear.