Verdict reserved on Imran, others Azadi March acquittal pleas

In Local
April 04, 2024



ISLAMABAD:

An Islamabad court reserved on Thursday the verdict on the acquittal pleas of PTI founder Imran Khan, vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and ally Sheikh Rashid among others in cases lodged against Haqeeqi Azaadi March.

The judgment will be announced on June 6.

Judicial Magistrate Malik Imran heard the acquittal pleas where Rashid, a former PTI ally and Awami Muslim League chief, appeared before the court to file his acquittal application.

The judge stated that he would decide on the petitions after hearing the pleas of all the accused.

The co-accused included PTI leaders Ali Nawaz Awan and Sadaqat Abbasi. Party lawyers Sardar Masroof Advocate, Amna Ali, Rizwan Akhtar Awan, and Mirza Asim Advocate were also present during the hearing.

Advocate Sardar argued that the acquittal plea was filed in February last year, insisting that he wished to present arguments today.

The judge stated that the court has received the challans for Sadaqat Abbasi, Ali Nawaz Awan, and Sheikh Rashid.

Sardar further argued, “The FIR was registered for violation of Section 144. There is no evidence in this case and no CCTV footage. The case has not been registered by any concerned person.”

Read Court issues production orders for Imran, Qureshi

Other leaders booked in the Azadi March case at the I-9 police station include now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister for PTI’s government Ali Amin Gandapur and party leader Asad Qaiser. Some other accused include ex-PTI leaders Pervez Khattak and Asad Umar.

The court issued notices to the parties and adjourned the hearing till June 6.

Imran cleared in long march cases

Last month, a judicial magistrate of Islamabad acquitted Imran in two cases pertaining to vandalism during the party’s two long marches in 2022.

Judicial magistrate Shaista Kundi heard the pleas filed by Imran for his acquittal in the cases registered at Islamabad’s Lohi Bhair and Sahala police stations and one related to his production in the court.

During the hearing, Imran’s counsel Naeem Panjotha contended that all the cases against the ex-premier were limited to the extent of “orders“.

“He [Imran) was booked in multiple cases in a single day. He was framed in the same role,” he added.

The lawyer informed the magistrate that the complainant was an SHO, who he argued lacked the authority to lodge cases.

“The cases also do not include the statements of witnesses.”

Panjotha maintained that neither a notification was issued nor the PTI was informed about the enforcement of Section 144.

PTI leaders booked

On May 27, 2022, the Islamabad police filed separate cases against 150 people including then PTI chairman Imran Khan as well as other party leaders over allegations of arson and vandalism in the federal capital a day earlier.

The footage of the Safe City cameras and those from private TV news channels was included in the challans of the cases as evidence. At least 39 people were taken into custody after identification from the footage.

Imran launched a march toward Islamabad to topple the coalition government that assumed power after he was ousted as the premier following a vote of no confidence.

The rally was part of the PTI’s struggle to achieve “real freedom” and deliver the nation from the “slavery” of the “US-backed” coalition government.

Imran accused the coalition government of coming to power through a “US-backed conspiracy”.

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