IHC Orders Removal Of ATA Sections
- Verdict over plea for IHC Orders Removal Of ATA Sections dismissal of terror case against Imran Khan announced.
- IHC says lodging such cases over speeches would open a floodgate.
- Says sections of ATA have been misused in past
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday ordered the authorities to remove sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) from the case against PTI Chairman Imran Khan for threatening a female judge, while announcing the verdict on plea seeking dismissal of case.
A two-member bench, headed by IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah had reserved the verdict on PTI’s plea earlier in the day.
The party had moved the IHC to grant Khan transit bail, but the court had directed the former premier to approach an AATC as it was a terror case.
The FIR registered against Khan states that he threatened Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry and police officers at a rally in F-9 Park to “terrorise” police officials and the judiciary.
The main aim was to prevent the police officers and judiciary from carrying out their legal obligations, states the FIR.
At the outset of the hearing, IHC CJ Minallah inquired about the views given by the joint investigation team (JIT) at the outset of the hearing.
Responding to the question, special prosecutor Rizwan Abbasi maintained that the JIT is of the view that the ATA sections are applicable to the former premier’s statement.
He said that Imran Khan spoke about taking legal action and lodging a case against an IG and DIG, contending that the individuals concerned should have filed the case.
Abbasi read the controversial bits of Imran Khan’s speech in court over IHC CJ Minallah’s directive.
“Is that all or is there something else that is controversial? It would open a floodgate if you lodge such cases over speeches,” the justice said.
“Prima facie, not a single section included in the case is applicable [to Imran Khan’s speech],” the court observed.