ISLAMABAD: A non-bailable arrest warrant for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan was issued by the district and sessions court on Monday.
In a three-page reserved verdict, Civil Judge Rana Mujahid Rahim issued the non-bailable warrant for the PTI chief for failing to appear for a hearing in the case registered against him for threatening female judge Zeba Chaudhry.
He also ordered the police to produce Imran Khan before the court by March 29.
Skipping the hearing once again, Imran Khan through his counsel filed a plea to be exempted from physical appearance before the court and instead requested to be allowed to attend the hearings via video link.
One of Imran Khan’s lawyers, Intezar Haider Panjutha submitted before the court that it was not safe for the PTI chief to travel to Islamabad as he was facing security threats. He told the court that they have also filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court, seeking permission for Imran Khan to virtually appear for his court hearings.
Naeem Haider Panjutha, another member of Imran Khan’s legal team, said not appearing in court for some reason and not willing to appear in court were two different things, and also requested the court to accept the PTI chief’s plea to attend hearings via video link.
Civil Judge Rana Mujahid Rahim rejected the plea, saying that if Imran Khan failed to appear in court today (Monday), he would issue non-bailable arrest warrant against the former prime minister. The hearing was briefly adjourned till 12:30pm and resumed later.
After the court dismissed Imran Khan’s plea in the case and issued non-bailable arrest warrant, a police party flew to Lahore from Islamabad by helicopter to arrest the PTI chairman.
Meanwhile, a district and sessions court in Islamabad restored Imran Khan’s non-bailable arrest warrant in the Toshakhana case.
The court had reserved its verdict on a petition filed by the PTI chief seeking exemption from the hearing.
Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal had previously also issued non-bailable arrest warrant for Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case for not appearing before the court on a continuous basis. The verdict was challenged in the Islamabad High Court, which suspended the non-bailable arrest warrant.
IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq had directed Imran Khan to ensure his appearance before the district and sessions court on March 13 (Monday).
However, Imran Khan once again did not appear before the court and instead filed a plea to be exempted from physical appearance as he was facing security threats.
The court rejected the former prime minister’s plea and issued orders that Imran Khan be arrested and presented before the court on March 18.