3-member SC bench begins hearing Imran Khan’s plea against arrest

Supreme Court took up on Thursday Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) petition challenging the arrest of party chief Imran Khan. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, is hearing the case.
The PTI had filed a petition in the Supreme Court a day earlier challenging the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) decision calling party chief Imran Khan’s arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) “legal”.
Initially, the petition was returned to the PTI after registrar’s office attached objections to the plea.
The registrar’s office stated that the PTI chief did not approach the relevant forum, adding that he could file an intra-court appeal.
It further stated that the petition did not have the signatures of the PTI chief.
But, later on Wednesday, the PTI addressed the objections of the registrar’s office and it was accepted for a hearing.
Following Khan’s arrest on Tuesday inside the IHC, the PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi summoned an emergency meeting of the seven-member committee to review the situation and devise a comprehensive strategy to secure the safe and early release of the party chair.
The senior PTI leader had announced the party’s plan to move the apex court.
On Tuesday, the IHC termed the arrest of the PTI chairman “legal” in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq — who had raised questions over the Rangers’ move to arrest Khan from the court’s premises earlier in the day — announced the reserved verdict.
The IHC also issued notices to the Islamabad inspector general of police and the interior secretary over contempt of court.
The chief justice ordered the high court registrar to get a first information report (FIR) registered over the circumstances of the arrest, which included manhandling the lawyers present nearby as well as damage to the court building.
He also instructed the registrar to conduct an inquiry and submit a report by May 16.