The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued a directive on Monday, instructing authorities to transfer Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan from Attock prison to Adiala jail.
This decision came during a hearing that focused on the prison accommodations provided to the PTI leader. The court’s order was based on a rule stating that the trials of prisoners charged in Islamabad should take place in the relevant prison.
Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, presiding over the PTI’s petition, questioned why Imran Khan, an under-trial prisoner in the cipher case registered in Islamabad, was detained in Attock jail rather than Adiala jail.
The chief justice further emphasized that Khan’s custody in Attock jail was related to the Toshakhana case, which had been suspended. He posed a hypothetical question, asking if Khan could be transferred to Rahim Yar Khan, whether the trial would be conducted there. Additional Attorney General Munawar Iqbal Dogar was asked to address this matter.
During the hearing, Imran Khan’s lawyer, Advocate Sher Afzal Marwat, requested the provision of an exercise machine for his client. Justice Farooq clarified that the A and C classes had been abolished in the jail, and there were now general and better classes. Barrister Salman Safdar, representing Imran Khan, asserted that the PTI chairman was entitled to the better class due to his status as a former prime minister and an educated person, a point confirmed by the chief justice.
Justice Farooq emphasized that Khan must receive the amenities he is entitled to, ensuring that his rights are not violated.
In a separate development, before the formal hearing regarding Khan’s post-arrest bail plea in the cipher case commenced, the IHC decided to reserve its decision on the request for in-camera proceedings at the request of Special Prosecutor Zulfiqar Naqvi.
Earlier, the court had limited the number of lawyers present in the courtroom due to overcrowding caused by the prison facilities case scheduled later. Advocate Shah Khawar, also present, stated that the trial was conducted under the Official Secrets Act. Justice Farooq indicated that the court would make a decision after reviewing the case record.
It’s worth noting that both the former prime minister and PTI’s Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi are in custody in connection with the cipher case. Barrister Safdar emphasized that the trial is being conducted under the Official Secrets Act due to security concerns, and unnecessary individuals can be asked to leave the courtroom if deemed necessary.
Advocate Marwat pointed out the national significance of the bail request, and Justice Farooq responded by mentioning that court hearings would now be live-streamed, allowing the world to witness them.