The Islamabad High Court (IHC) instructed officials to transfer PTI Chairman Imran Khan from Attock prison to Adiala jail.
Chief Justice, IHC, Aamer Farooq, in a hearing over the PTI leader’s prison privileges, cited a rule which states that inmates charged in Islamabad should be confined to the corresponding detention centre.
Justice Farooq questioned the rationale behind keeping Khan, an under-trial prisoner of the cipher case registered in Islamabad, in Attock jail. He pointed out that Khan’s earlier detainment in Attock was related to the now-suspended Toshakhana case. He posed a hypothetical, asking if Khan would be subjected to a trial in Rahim Yar Khan if he were moved there, signalling for input from Additional Attorney General Munawar Iqbal Dogar.
Entitlement to Better Prison Amenities
During the proceedings, Khan’s legal representative, Advocate Sher Afzal Marwat, pleaded for his client to be provided with an exercise machine. Justice Farooq mentioned discontinuing A and C prison classifications, stating that the new system comprises general and better classes. Referring to Khan’s prior role as Prime Minister and his educational background, Justice Farooq confirmed his eligibility for the better class. He stressed that Khan should be granted all permissible amenities without infringing his rights.
The Cipher Case Proceedings
As the court prepared to deliberate on Khan’s post-arrest bail application in the cipher case, Special Prosecutor Zulfiqar Naqvi submitted a motion for private proceedings. Previously, the courtroom was overcrowded due to the subsequent hearing on prison facilities, leading the judge to limit representation to two lawyers.
Highlighting that the Official Secrets Act governs the trial, Prosecutor Advocate Shah Khawar, with Barrister Salman Safdar representing Khan, indicated their preference for a closed-door session. Justice Farooq assured a comprehensive evaluation of the case files before deciding.
It’s essential to note that the ex-PM Khan and PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi are detainees in the cipher case. Addressing security apprehensions, Barrister Safdar confirmed the trial’s adherence to the Official Secrets Act and suggested selective courtroom attendance if required.
Concluding the proceedings, Advocate Marwat emphasized the nation’s keen interest in the bail plea. Justice Farooq jovially remarked on the impending live-streaming of court sessions, hinting at the global attention it might garner.