Imran Khan attends NAB case hearing via video goes viral

Imran Khan attends NAB case hearing via video goes viral

The PTI founder, wearing blue tea-shirt, is seen sitting on a chair and contended during hearing of the case at the Supreme Court.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Founder Imran Khan’s photo through video link from Adiala jail surfaced on the social media and went viral in the Whatsapp groups on Thursday.

Wearing a light-blue tea-shirt, Imran Khan is seen sitting on a chair inside the jail during his appearance before the Supreme Court via video link.

This is the first time that Khan has appeared in the apex court for a hearing since his arrest last year from Zaman Park in Toshakhana reference.

Imran Khan, the former Prime Minister and founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), addressed the Supreme Court today via video link regarding amendments to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) laws. The case, initiated by appeals from federal and provincial governments, challenges amendments invalidated by the apex court.

Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa led the five-member bench overseeing the proceedings. Imran Khan’s virtual presence led to the suspension of live streaming. Future broadcasts of the hearings are yet to be decided.

Earlier, arrangements were made at Adiala Jail for Khan’s remote appearance, as ordered by the Supreme Court. Jail officials conducted a trial run of the video link before Khan’s participation.

Imran Khan’s involvement underscores the significance of the legal proceedings. His input as a prominent political figure amplifies the importance of transparency and accountability in governance.

The case’s outcome will impact accountability measures in Pakistan’s political landscape. Stakeholders await the court’s decision, anticipating its implications for accountability processes. Imran Khan’s participation highlights the role of judicial oversight in ensuring fairness in governance.

Via video link Imran Khan appears

Khan, incarcerated in Adiala jail, wanted to appear in the top court in person to present his arguments after which the court allowed him to defend himself via video link.

A day ago, his lawyers Khawaja Haris and Intezar Panjutha held a short meeting with Khan in jail following the SC’s order.

“The PTI founder can present his arguments in the upcoming hearing via video link if he wishes to do so […] arrangements should be made for the presentation of arguments via video link,” Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa had said Tuesday.

He remarked this during hearing of the federal government’s intra-court appeal against the SC’s 2023 verdict that annulled some of the NAB amendments. This case was also being heard by the aforementioned bench.

The ex-premier has been out of sight since August 2023 after he was nabbed following a conviction in the Toshakhana case.

After being arrested, the PTI founder was found guilty in several cases, including cypher and unlawful marriage, he remained imprisoned even though he had obtained bail in some of the cases.

If the bench decides on livestreaming the hearing, this will be Khan’s first virtual public appearance in almost 10 months.

According to the Adiala jail authorities, Khan’s video link appearance was scheduled in accordance with the apex court’s orders. The PTI founder, however, is free to choose whether or not to come before the bench. The authorities will guarantee Khan’s virtual presence in court, they said.

750 Prize Bond List 2023 In Pakistan

Today’s court proceedings

At the start of the session, the Chief Justice asked if the video link with Imran Khan was set up, and the Attorney General confirmed it. Imran Khan, seen in a light blue shirt, joined via video.

The government’s lawyer, Makhdoom Ali Khan, began his argument, ensuring he spoke loud enough for Khan to hear. The court also asked about the NAB amendments case verdict from the Islamabad High Court, which Makhdoom said was pending.

Khawaja Haris, Khan’s lawyer, was present and requested to argue the case himself. He declined a fee when asked by the Chief Justice.

Questions arose about the duration of the case. Makhdoom explained it took time due to various arguments and evaluations. The court was surprised by the 53 hearings conducted.

The Attorney General mentioned the quick formation of NAB laws in 1999. The Chief Justice questioned why the case took so long, to which Makhdoom attributed it to discussions on admissibility.

References were made to the Practice and Procedure Act, and its suspension by the court was discussed. The Chief Justice raised concerns about the impact of suspending laws.

The court pondered over who qualifies as the affected party in the case and the interpretation of “aggrieved party” in the law.

In summary, the session involved discussions on the video link with Khan, arguments presented, delays in the case, and interpretations of legal terms.

NAB revisions case..

In September 2023, a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court, led by then-Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, approved ex-PM Khan’s petition challenging changes to Pakistan’s accountability laws by the previous Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government. After over 50 hearings, the court, in a 2-1 decision, reinstated corruption cases against officials closed due to the amendments. The ruling affects cases worth less than Rs500 million against political figures like Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, Yousuf Raza Gilani, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and Raja Pervez Ashraf. The decision means these cases will return to the accountability courts. The federal government appealed the verdict under Section 5 of the SC law.

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