ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday ordered authorities to shift Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan to the Adiala jail, as the proceedings of a prisoner’s trial, who has been booked in Islamabad, should be conducted at the said prison.
The court’s orders came during the hearing of a petition pertaining to prison facilities provided to the PTI chief.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq said Khan is an under-trial prisoner in the cipher case and that all the under-trial prisoners in Islamabad are imprisoned in Adiala jail.
“Why is an under-trial prisoner kept in Attock jail instead of Adiala jail?” he asked.
Ordering to shift the PTI chairman, the chief justice added Khan was kept in custody at the Attock jail in the Toshakhana case, which was suspended.
“If tomorrow, you transfer [him] to Rahim Yar Khan, would the trial be held there?” he questioned, seeking a response regarding the matter from Additional Attorney General Munawar Iqbal Dogar.
During the hearing, Khan’s lawyer Advocate Sher Afzal Marwat requested that his client be given the facility of an exercise machine.
Justice Farooq said it was mentioned that now the A and C classes have been abolished in the jail.
“Now there are general and better classes in the jail, and Imran Khan is entitled to the better class,” said Barrister Salman Safdar, lawyer of the deposed prime minister.
“It is confirmed that the PTI chairman is entitled to the better class, as he is the former prime minister and an educated person,” the chief justice observed.
Justice Farooq maintained that Khan should receive the facilities he is entitled to and that his rights should not be violated.
Meanwhile, before a formal hearing pertaining to Khan’s post-arrest bail plea in the cipher case began, the IHC reserved its decision on the request for in-camera proceedings at the request of Special Prosecutor Zulfiqar Naqvi.
Earlier, the court had asked only two lawyers to remain in the courtroom, as it had more people in the space due to the jail facilities case which was to be held later.
The prosecutor Advocate Shah Khawar, who was also present on the premises, said the trial is being held under the Official Secrets Act. Khan was represented by Barrister Salman Safdar.
Justice Farooq remarked that the court would make a decision after reviewing the case record.
It should be noted that both the former premier and his party’s Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi are in custody in the cipher case.
“There is no denying that the trial is being conducted under the Official Secrets Act. Security concerns have been cited as the reason for the jail trial in this case,” Barrister Safdar said, adding that the court can ask unnecessary individuals to step out if it deems fit.
Shah Khawar said he would present arguments in-camera before the court once Khan’s lawyer has presented his.
Advocate Marwat mentioned that the entire nation has its eyes on this bail request, to which Justice Farooq responded with a smile, stating that now court hearings will be live-streamed, and the whole world will be able to witness them.