The former prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, was granted protective bail by Lahore High Court (LHS) on Monday amid rumours that he was likely to be arrested in a case linked to violent protests outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The case was registered against him in Islamabad.
With hundreds of his supporters being assembled outside the Court, shouting and chanting slogans, Khan reached the Court for a hearing earlier in the day. For security reasons, a large contingent of police personnel was deployed at the main gate of the court.
A court official told PTI that news agency PTI reported that a two-member bench led by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi granted the protective bail to the PTI chairman till March 3.
As quoted, the official said, “Khan appeared before the court and told him that he wanted to appear before it last week but doctors had advised him to rest as his leg wound would heal in over two weeks. He also said he always respected the courts as he is an upholder of justice. He said ‘justice’ is also included in his party’s name.”
The court had given him a last chance to appear before the court by 5:00pm (local time) in the election commission protest case. He reached the court after hours-delay because of the massive gathering outside the court.
Last year when 70-year-old Khan was disqualified by the election commission in the prohibited funding case last year, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) activists staged a violent protest.
Khan’s counsel had requested the court to allow his client to represent through the court staff as they claimed that the PTI chief was facing difficulty in entering the court due to security reasons and the presence of party workers in large numbers.
However, media reports noted that the request was denied and the court ordered the security in charge of the LHC to present the PTI chief before the bench.
Earlier in the day, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry addressed the party workers. He said, “Those who are running a campaign against the judiciary are not being summoned by the courts but Imran Khan was summoned despite security threats and medical reasons.”
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