LAHORE – In a case involving a demonstration outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday denied PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s request to withdraw his bail application and postponed the hearing until 4pm.
The change occurred after Mr. Khan disobeyed a summons to appear before the high court by 2:00 p.m. The PTI chief’s attorney, Azhar Siddique, said that his client’s personal physician was there to brief the court as Judge Tariq Saleem Sheikh resumed the hearing.
Although the doctor was not a party to the lawsuit, the court refused to hear him. Mr. Siddique said he wished to withdraw the suit since the Islamabad High Court had granted them relief (IHC).
Judge Sheikh drew attention to a discrepancy between Imran Khan’s signatures on the power of attorney and the document that was filed with the court. He described it as a crucial matter and threatened to send the PTI chairman a notice of contempt. He also asked the attorney to clarify the situation for him.
The LHC judge also declined to rule on the issue, stating that he would keep it open until 4 o’clock. A fresh bail petition will soon be submitted, according to Azhar Siddique.
The LHC ordered the PTI chairman to appear in court earlier today, but postponed the hearing until 2 p.m.
Imran Khan’s attorney said at the beginning of the hearing that the consultation process was still ongoing and that they required one additional hour. The lawyer said that Imran Khan was being advised when the judge asked whether he would come today. The LHC then postponed more court hearings until 2 o’clock.
Attorney Azhar Siddique earlier provided power of attorney to represent the former prime minister in the case when Judge Tariq Saleem Sheikh began hearing. Mr. Khan has complete faith in the judicial system, the attorney informed the court. If the doctor does not permit Imran Khan to go, we may provide an explanation to the court, he added. He said that since Mr. Khan is the leader of the biggest political party in the nation, the PTI leader also faces threats to his life.
He added: “We are debating two separate issues in the case,” hinting that he would file another request seeking exemption from personal attendance in the case. The court had previously postponed the hearing till 12:30 p.m. after his arguments.
After having his bail in a case against him for demonstrating outside the ECP headquarters terminated by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday, Mr. Khan submitted the petition for protected bail.
The high court required Mr. Khan to personally appear in the case in order to be granted bail, and it ordered him to do so until Thursday morning at 9 a.m.
The appellant should be brought before the court on a stretcher or in the ambulance till 8 o’clock, if required, Judge Tariq Saleem Sheikh had said.
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Mr. Khan said in his plea that he was a law-abiding citizen and that he wanted to submit to the court. Protective bail should be granted to him since he intended to submit a new interim bail plea to the court, according to the plea.
The argument further claimed that Mr. Khan was named in the lawsuit to be politically victimised. The bail request was denied by the Islamabad High Court (IHC), and Mr. Khan was not excused from appearing in court due to a medical condition, according to the petition.