The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued a stay order against Pakistan former prime minister Imran Khan’s jail trial in the cipher case.
A two-member bench, comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz, announced the decision during the hearing of the PTI chief’s intra-court appeal against trial in Adiala jail.
The development comes after the caretaker federal cabinet on Monday approved the jail trial of the former prime minister and PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the case, according to Geo news.
The cabinet gave its assent to the summary by the Ministry of Law regarding the former prime minister and foreign minister’s trial in the Adiala jail due to security concerns.
During the hearing today, Attorney General Mansoor Awan presented his arguments before the court.
“The federal cabinet approved the jail trial of Imran Khan,” said the attorney general. He added that the notification will also be presented before the court.
At this, Justice Aurangzeb said that they would check the notification. “All trials will be held in open court, so this trial will be an extraordinary one,” he remarked.
“If this will be a jail trial then it would be an extraordinary one,” said the judge.
The attorney general said that this was not an extraordinary trial but just a jail trial, adding that he would seek records from all relevant agencies and place them before the court.
In hindsight, all three notifications are not in accordance with the relevant rules of the high court, the judge maintained.
“When, under what circumstances and on what basis was it decided that there would be a jail trial?” he asked Awan.
Khan’s counsel Raja told the court that five witnesses are still present in the jail to record their statements.
The judge remarked that many questions need to be answered, adding that the federal cabinet approved the jail trial two days ago.
The IHC then adjourned the hearing on the intra-court appeal against jail trial till November 16, according to local media.
The deposed prime minister — who was ousted from office following a no-confidence motion in April last year — had moved IHC against the jail trial which was rejected by the court’s single bench on October 16.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq’s single-member bench announced no apparent malice behind conducting Khan’s jail trial in the cipher case. The court also directed him to approach the trial court if reservations persist.
Later, Khan filed an intra-court appeal against the single bench’s decision.