- Government not authorized to issue notification of jail trials: PTI lawyer
- The Chief Justice of the IHC can constitute a new bench on this matter: IHC Judges.
- Khan had challenged the single bench of the IHC before the division bench.
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday rejected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan’s intra-court appeal against his jail trial in the Sifar case.
A two-member IHC bench of Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat presided over the hearing.
PTI chief’s counsel Salman Akram Raja argued before the bench that the federal government did not have the authority to issue a notification seeking trial against Khan in jail.
He said it is the jurisdiction of the Islamabad Commissioner to issue jail case notification and added that it is an administrative matter.
Advocate Raja said that the single bench of the IHC had declared that the federal government has the prerogative to appoint a judge of its choice.
“They are judicial officers. The federal government has no authority to ‘pick and choose’ [judges],” He added.
Responding to this, Justice Aurangzeb said, “In this way the executive will interfere in the field of judiciary.”
The division bench said the Chief Justice of the IHC can constitute a fresh bench on the matter after the file is sent to him after removing the objections.
,[But] Right now we cannot give you any interim relief,” Justice Aurangzeb said, adding that whether the plea is admissible or not will be decided later.
Earlier this month, a single bench of the IHC found no apparent mala fide behind Khan’s jail hearing in the Sifar case, read out the court’s judgment and directed him to approach the trial court if the reservation continues.
The court’s decision, announced by IHC Chief Justice Aamir Farooq, came after the hearing of Khan’s petition challenging his jail trial in the Sifar case, which the judge finally concluded today.
The former prime minister, whose government was ousted following a no-confidence motion in April last year, wanted his trial in the above case to be tried in an open court.
“The jail hearing is in favor of the PTI chairman in view of his security,” the court said, adding that Khan himself has repeatedly expressed his fear for his safety.
Authorities decided to prosecute the PTI chief in jail over security concerns after he was arrested under the Official Secrets Act in August this year.
A day earlier, Khan was convicted along with PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a case of misusing diplomatic cables for vested and political purposes.
Both the leaders have been imprisoned in Adiala Jail of Rawalpindi.