11 May 2023

Pakistan Supreme Court Orders Imran Khan's Release, Declares Arrest Illegal

Islamabad: In major relief for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former prime minister Imran Khan, the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday declared his arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case as “illegal” and directed the authorities to release him “immediately”.

The court also directed Imran Khan to approach the Islamabad High Court (IHC) once again. The order came shortly after the PTI chief was presented in the apex court. He was brought in a convoy of 15 vehicles amid strict security.

The apex court had directed the authorities to present Imran Khan — who was ousted as the prime minister last year in April — at 4:30pm, but he was produced at around 5:40pm, more than an hour later.

When the hearing resumed, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial told Khan, "it is good to see you."

"We believe that Imran Khan's arrest was illegal," remarked the CJP.

CJP Bandial said that the IHC should hear the case tomorrow. "You will have to accept whatever the high court decides," he added.

The CJP said that it is every politician's responsibility to ensure law and order.

The directives to present Khan in the court came after the CJP termed the PTI leader's arrest from the premises of Islamabad High Court (IHC) as a mighty disgrace to the country's judicial establishment.

The CJP passed the remark while heading a three-member bench hearing PTI's petition challenging Khan's arrest. Apart from the CJP, the bench also includes Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar.

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