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ECP protest case: LHC rejects Imran Khan’s plea to withdraw bail petition, adjourns hearing till 4pm

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ECP protest case: LHC rejects Imran Khan's plea to withdraw bail petition, adjourns hearing till 4pm

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday turned down PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s request to withdraw his bail plea in a case pertaining to protest outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and adjourned the hearing till 4pm.

The development comes after Mr Khan defied an order to appear before the high court by 2pm. As Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh resumed the hearing, the PTI chief’s lawyer Azhar Siddique said personal physician of his client was present to brief the court.

To which, the judge said: “I would not hear the doctor as he was not a party in the case”. Mr Siddique said he wanted to take back the petition as they had got relief from the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

However, Justice Sheikh pointed out a difference between signatures of Imran Khan on the power of attorney and affidavit submitted in the court. He called it an important issued, stating that he would issue a contempt notice to the PTI chief. He also sought an explanation from the lawyer on the matter.

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The LHC judge also refused to dispose of the case saying he was pending it till 4pm. Azhar Siddique said a new bail petition would be filed shortly.
 

Earlier today, the LHC put off the hearing by 2pm while ordering the PTI chief appear before the court. 

At the outset of the hearing, Imran Khan’s counsel said the consultation process was still going on and they needed an hour’s more time. The court asked the lawyer whether Imran Khan would appear now upon which lawyer said he [Imran Khan] was being consulted. The LHC then adjourned further court proceedings till 2pm  

Earlier, as Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh resumed hearing, Advocate Azhar Siddique submitted power of attorney to represent the former prime minister in the case. The lawyer told the judge that Mr Khan had full trust in the judiciary. He said: “We may offer excuse to court if Imran Khan is not allowed to travel by the doctor”. Saying Mr Khan is head of the country’s largest political party, he said there were also threats to the life of the PTI chief. 

He also hinted at submitting another plea seeking exemption from personal appearance in the case, adding: “We are ponding over two different aspects in the case”. After his arguments, the court earlier adjourned the hearing till 12:30pm. 

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Mr Khan had filed the plea for protective bail after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday cancelled his bail in a case lodged against him over protesting outside the ECP office.

However, the high court conditioned the bail with the personal appearance of Mr Khan in the case and ordered him to appear before it until 9 am on Thursday.

Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh had remarked that the appellant should be presented before the court on a stretcher or in the ambulance until 8 pm, if necessary.

In the plea, Mr Khan stated that he was a law-abiding citizen and he wanted to surrender himself before the court. He wanted to file a fresh interim bail plea in the court, so protective bail should be granted to him, the plea added.

The plea further stated that Mr Khan had been nominated in the case to victimise him politically. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had rejected the bail plea and had not given Mr Khan an exemption from appearing before the court on medical grounds, the plea stated.

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4.3 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Punjab

4.3 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Punjab

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4.3 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Punjab

An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale struck various parts of Punjab including Lahore on Monday 

People came out of their homes in panic and started reciting verses from the Holy Quran. No loss of life and property was reported in any part of Punjab. 

According to the National Seismic Monitoring Centre, Islamabad, the epicentre of the earthquake was located five kilometres south of Sheikhupura at the depth of 45 kilometres.

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Pakistan Army shoots down Indian quadcopter on LoC

Pakistan Army shoots down Indian quadcopter on LoC

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Pakistan Army shoots down Indian quadcopter on LoC

Pakistan Army has shot down a spy quadcopter of Indian Army on the Line of Control (LoC).

According to a statement issued by the Public Relations Department of the Pakistan Army (ISPR), on Monday, an Indian Air Force quadcopter spying on Pakistan was shot down.

The ISPR said that the army has found the downed quadcopter inside Pakistani territory.

It may be recalled that it is the fifth anniversary of Operation Swift Retort today. On February 27, 2019, the Pakistan Air Force shot down Indian fighter planes that violated Pakistani airspace. 

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PTI founder, Bushra Bibi indicted in 190m pound case

PTI founder, Bushra Bibi indicted in 190m pound case

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PTI founder, Bushra Bibi indicted in 190m pound case

 An accountability court indicted the PTI founder and his wife Bushra Bibi in the ill-famous 190 million pound case – also previously known as Al-Qadir Trust case – as the judge, Nasir Javed Rana, held hearing at the Adiala jail.

All the cases involving the former PTI chairman are being heard at the jail premises – where he is imprisoned – because of the security threats, for which Bushra Bibi was shifted from her Bani Gala residence where she is serving her sentences in two cases – Toshakhana and illegal/un-Islamic marriage.

Meanwhile, her husband has so far been convicted in three cases – cipher, Toshakhana and illegal/un-Islamic marriage.

During the proceedings, the two accused pleaded not guilty, as the judge adjourned proceedings till March 6 while also summoning five witnesses to record their statements on next hearing.

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However, the accountability court accepted two pleas filed by the PTI founder, requesting permission for an appointment with his dentist and general physician.

Previously, the indictment had been postponed on several occasions due to the absence of Mohammad Bashir – the accountability court judge who is set to retire on March 14 and has applied for leave preparatory to retirement (LPR).

However, the law ministry last week appointed District and Sessions Judge Rana as an Accountability Court No 1 Islamabad judge to replace Bashir who went on leave on deputation for a period of three years. 

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