Imran Khan gets BIG relief as Supreme Court bars authorities from arresting in lawyer murder case
Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan appeared before the Supreme Court in Islamabad on Monday which barred the authorities from arresting him till August 9 in a case linked to the murder of a prominent lawyer in Quetta.
A three-member bench led by Justice Yahya Afridi issued the directives while hearing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief's plea seeking to quash the case, the Dawn newspaper reported.
Senior lawyer Abdul Razzaq Shar was killed on June 6 by unidentified people in Quetta, capital of Balochistan province, while on his way to court for an important hearing in the Balochistan High Court. A day later, police registered a case and named Khan in the first information report (FIR) on the complaint of the lawyer's son. Shar had filed a constitutional petition against Khan in the Balochistan High Court, seeking proceedings against the ex-premier under Article 6 that pertained to high treason.
The federal government and the PTI had traded blame over the incident, with both sides accusing the other of having a role in the killing. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's aide Attaullah Tarar had alleged that Shar was killed at the behest of Khan to allegedly evade accountability in a treason case. On the other hand, PTI spokesperson Raoof Hassan had accused the prime minister and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah of being behind the murder, the Dawn News reported.
An anti-terrorism court (ATC) had subsequently issued Khan's arrest warrant in the case, which was later upheld by the Balochistan High Court. Khan, 70, had moved the Supreme Court against naming him as an accused in the murder case, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.
During its previous hearing of the case on July 20, the apex court ordered the PTI chairman to appear before the bench in person before asking for the annulment of the FIR and warrants of arrest.
During Monday's hearing, Khan appeared before the Supreme Court along with his lawyers. At the outset of the hearing, the Balochistan advocate general urged the apex court to instruct the petitioner to appear before the joint investigation team (JIT) tasked with probing the murder.
Court said it will not issue any such order now:
The court said it will not issue any such order now. The bench, however, prevented the police from carrying out the PTI chief's arrest in the matter and postponed the proceedings until August 9. Earlier, the IG Balochistan submitted the investigation report of Shar's murder case to the court, which stated that according to the FIR, the victim was being threatened for filing a petition under Article 6 against Khan.
The report stated that during the investigation, a seven-member JIT was formed by the Ministry of Interior on June 8. Since then, eight meetings of the JIT have been held under the chairmanship of the DIG Counter Terrorism Department.
The JIT had decided to investigate four individuals in the case, one of whom was Khan, the report said. Summons notices were sent to the deposed premier on June 19 in this case. However, to date, Khan has not participated in the investigation despite the authorities having sent him several notices. -India TV