Islamabad, 11 May 2023 (Updated Saturday 1145 PM)
Pakistan’s judiciary ranks 129 among 140 world’s judiciary index. Verdict on Thursday evening, and earlier verdicts in presence of country’s Chief Judge, Justice Umar Ata Bandial in regards to hearings against former deposed prime minister Imran Khan is expected that Pakistan’s judiciary may demote to further rank in World’s judiciary index.
Late Thursday evening, a three member bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan headed by Chief Justice, Justice Umar Atta Bandial over ruled Islamabad High Court verdict of Monday in regards to the handing over former deposed prime minister Imran Khan for eight days on a mega corruption charge to the National Accountability Authority (NAB).
On Friday, Islamabad High Court which on last Monday gave verdict on legal arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan in a surprised verdict issued bail orders (Licence to Kill to Imran Khan) NOT TO ARREST deposed prime minister Imran Khan till 17th of May 2023 in any kind of known, unknown and on any future charge. Imran Khan is alleged on attacks, burning and ransacking of military and government installations on 9th of May, military named the day as Black Day.
Imran Khan on Saturday charged Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen Asif Nadeem’s direct involvement of his ‘abduction’ from the premises of Islamabad High Court on Monday.
Imran Khan was issued atleast 15 times notice on AlQadir Trust case, but as usual have taken refuge under ‘COURTS’ bails like on other number of cases including receiving of illegal funds in charity name; mis-appropriation in donations received in name of cancer hospital; not declaration of a number of bank accounts; donations received in various personal accounts; deeply involvement of him, his wife Bushra Bibi and friends in mega corruption cases; selling of government gift items taken out from the treasury and money using for personal means and keeping funds in personal accounts; etc.
Today, Chief Justice Bandial issued production order of Imran Khan and to bring before his court by 0430 PM, Pakistan local time. However, Imran Khan appeared in Supreme court around 0600 PM under tight security. Alleged criminal in a mega corruption case , former cricketer turned politician, ex-Prime Minister came to the rostrum, he was greeted by the Chief Judge who welcomed him saying “Good to see you”.
After a short hearing from the parties, Chief Judge Bandial ordered police to keep ‘guest’ of the Supreme Court in three room apartment at the Police Officers Complex until reporting at 1100 AM, next day to the Islamabad High Court . Khan was also facilitated to stay with 10 his choice of people.
Pakistan’s prestigious English daily DAWN reported that the Supreme Court extended ‘extraordinary’ relief to PTI chief Imran Khan as a three-member bench termed his arrest on the premises of the Islamabad High Court “invalid and unlawful”.
The court directed that NAB and police would ensure “foolproof” security to Mr Khan until his production before the high court in connection with his petition against NAB in the Al Qadir Trust case.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, made it clear to Imran Khan, who was produced on the apex court’s directions, that this was an extraordinary relief, never extended to other political leaders though they also suffered ordeal worse than this.
The court added it took up the case since the right to access to justice was denied and the sanctity and safety of the court were violated. The court observed that the arrest was illegal and said the entire process needed to be backtracked since a citizen enjoyed certain guarantees, particularly access to justice, on the court premises.
Strange and surprising thing was no action and orders were taken by Superior Court on ransacking and burning of sensitive installations in various parts of the country by the supporters of Imran Khan led by party leaders. Chief Judge asked Imran Khan to send message to his supporters to calm down and being a senior leader he should consider opening up a dialogue channel with his political opponents “whom he may not like but they are a reality” as this would restore confidence among people.
Imran Khan said that it was a reaction by his supporters on retaliation of his arrest. However, sine he was under arrest, he had no idea what had happened in the country.
Later in a three-page order, the detailed reasons of which will come later, the apex court said the manner of execution of the arrest warrant issued by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman in the Al Qadir Trust case on the IHC premises against Imran Khan was invalid and unlawful.
The execution of the warrant violated Khan’s right of access to justice and the sanctity and safety of the court as he had already surrendered to the court for seeking judicial relief against the action taken by NAB in the Al Qadir Trust case.”
In this regard, the fundamental rights of the petitioner under Articles 4, 9, 10-A and 14 of the constitution have been infringed, the order said, adding the petitioner was directed to be produced before IHC on May 12 at 11am for hearing of his case filed to challenge the NAB action in the Al Qadir Trust case.
Al Qadir Trust – Mega Corruption Case
It all started five years ago when the The National Crime Agency (NCA) of the United Kingdom agreed to a settlement worth £190 million with the family of property tycoon Malik Riaz.
According to the statement released by the NCA, the settlement included a UK property — 1 Hyde Park Place, London, W2 2LH — valued at approximately £50 million and all of the funds landed in the frozen accounts of Malik Riaz.
The first record of the NCA’s move to probe the property and assets belonging to Riaz in the UK surfaced in December 2018, shortly after the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) came to power. The crime agency in a press release dated Aug 14, 2019 stated: “The NCA has been granted freezing orders on eight bank accounts containing a total of more than £100 million, which is suspected to have derived from bribery and corruption in an overseas nation. Approximately £20m held by a linked individual was frozen following a hearing in December 2018.”
In June 2022, the matter resurfaced after an alleged audio leak, purportedly of a telephone conversation between Malik Riaz and his daughter, wherein the two could be heard talking about the supposed demands of Farah Khan aka Gogi — a friend of Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi — against some alleged favours from the previous government of Imran Khan. The woman, believed to be Riaz’s daughter, told her father that Farah had told her that the (former) first lady had asked her not to accept a three-karat diamond ring and demanded a five-karat one.
Subsequently, Riaz had denied his role in any political matters, and in a tweet claimed that the leaked audio clip attributed to him and his daughter was “fabricated”.
A week later on June 14, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had accused Imran and his wife of accepting Rs. 5bn and hundreds of kanals of land for protecting the real estate firm in a money laundering case.
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