Pakistan’s Court Declares Imran Khan’s Jail Trial Null and Void in Cipher Case

Tue Nov 21 2023
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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has announced it reserved regarding the intra-court appeal filed by former Prime Minister Imran Khan against the jail trial in the cipher case. However, the divisional bench declared Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain’s appointment as lawful.

A division bench, consisting of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Riffat Imtiaz, has accepted the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman’s plea and declared the August 29 notification regarding the jail trial null and void.

It seems like, after the order, the court proceedings that have taken place in jail have been nullified as a whole.

On August 29, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had temporarily halted the sentence of the PTI chief in the Toshakhana case. However, a special court, operating under the Official Secrets Act, had instructed jail authorities to detain the PTI chairman in “judicial lockup” regarding the cipher case.

Imran Khan’s Jail Trial in Cipher Case

The Islamabad High Court’s ruling followed the approval by the caretaker federal cabinet for the jail trial of both Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the case. Imran Khan, had previously challenged the trial through an appeal to the IHC, but Chief Justice Aamer Farooq’s single-member bench rejected it on October 16. The Chief Justice directed Khan to approach the trial court if concerns persisted. In response, Khan filed an intra-court appeal against the single bench’s decision.

The two-member bench declared the law ministry’s November 13 notification for the PTI chief’s jail trial as no longer valid.

Earlier today, Justice Aurangzeb, during the hearing, stated that a short decision on the appeal would be disclosed today, with a detailed order to follow later.

In a hearing on November 14, the high court suspended Khan’s jail trial in the cipher case. The PTI chairman is presently in Adiala jail following his indictment by the special court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain.

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