Thursday, February 22, 2024

Supreme Court of Pakistan declares execution of arrest warrant against Imran Khan by NAB as invalid and unlawful

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The Supreme Court of Pakistan has declared the execution of arrest warrant in the Al-Qadir Trust case against Imran Khan by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as invalid and unlawful.

The bench comprising of Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Athar Minallah said that execution of the above mentioned warrant has infringed the petitioner’s right of access to justice and the sanctity and safety of the Court.

The Apex Court of Pakistan observed that Imran Khan had already surrendered to the Court for judicial relief against the action which was taken by NAB in the Al-Qadir Trust case.

The Court said this while it was hearing the petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) challenging the arrest.

On May 1,the PTI chief Imran Khan was arrested on May 1 by Pakistani Rangers from outside the Islamabad High Court in connection with the corruption charges in Al-Qadir Trust case.

As per the available information, the former prime minister, along with his wife Bushra Bibi and other PTI leaders, are facing a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inquiry for allegedly accepting Rs 5 billion and hundreds of kanals (of land) from Bahria Town (an Islamabad-based real estate company) in exchange for protecting the firm in a money laundering case.

It is also alleged that the accused got land for the purpose of establishing a university through a non-profit organization called Al-Qadir Trust.

The organization had only two trustees, Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi. It is alleged that agreement between the company and the PTI government resulted in a loss of 190 million pounds to the national treasury.

The Court while declaring the arrest unlawful said that, the fundamental rights of Khan under “Articles 4, 9, 10-A and 14 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan have been infringed”.

Article 4 states that,“no action detrimental to the life, liberty, body, reputation or property of any person shall be taken except in accordance with law.”Article 9 mandates that,“no person shall be deprived of life or liberty saves in accordance with law.”

It is similar to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.Article 10-A provides the right to free trial and Article 14 states that “the dignity of man and, subject to law, the privacy of home, shall be inviolable.(2) No person shall be subjected to torture for the purpose of extracting evidence”.

The Court has further directed Khan to be produced before the Islamabad High Court on May 12 at 11:00 am for the hearing of the Writ Petition filed by him to challenge the NAB action against him in the Al-Qadir Trust Case.

The Court said that in order to ensure the security of the petitioner until his appearance in the High Court on 12.05.2023 at 11:00 am, he shall remain in the premises where he is presently retained in police custody.

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