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IHC to hold open court hearing on Imran Khan’s bail plea in cipher case

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  • FIA sought in-camera hearings, citing privileged, sensitive documents and information.
  • Court asks prosecution to move appropriate request for in-camera hearings.
  • “PTI counsel has no objection to barring unnecessary people,” order reads.

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday ruled that the next hearing of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s bail plea in the cipher case will take place in an open court.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq issued a two-page written order in response to the prosecution’s request for in-camera proceedings.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had initially sought closed-door hearings, citing the presence of “privileged” and “sensitive” documents and information.

The court has, consequently, instructed the FIA prosecutors to submit a separate petition for in-camera proceedings during the upcoming hearing.

The order further said that the special prosecutor for the agency had contended that when the bail application before the trial court was argued, the public was isolated, however, the official conceded that the petitioner argued its case in open court.

However, the order mentioned that the PTI counsel said he had no objection if unnecessary people were barred from the courtroom.

The FIA prosecutors, in their request, also mentioned that the hearing of the case in the special trial court was also held in-camera and unauthorised people were asked to leave the courtroom.

“Be that as it may, Section 14 of the Official Secret Act, 1923 permits exclusion of the public from the proceedings, however, the reading of the section shows that if such is to be undertaken, the prosecution has to make an application,” it added.

The court mentioned that the prosecution may move an appropriate application if it is interested in the public’s exclusion from the proceedings.

Attock jail notification declared ‘null and void’

In a separate hearing, the IHC declared null and void the authorities’ notification to keep PTI chairman in Attock jail.

In a written order, IHC Chief Justice Aamir Farooq approved the request to transfer Khan to Adiala jail. The court stated that the PTI chief had been sentenced to three years in the Toshakhana case.

The trial court had directed to keeping the PTI chief in Adiala Jail, but due to security concerns, he was transferred to the Attock jail to complete his sentence on the recommendation of the Inspector General of Prisons.

Despite the suspension of his sentence in the Toshakhana case by the IHC on August 28, the former prime minister remained incarcerated in the prison as he was also arrested in the cipher case.

The additional advocate general of Punjab stated that shifting Khan to Adiala jail poses a security risk. Under-trial prisoners of all cases registered in the federal capital are kept in the Adiala jail, while only convicted prisoners can be shifted to any jail in Punjab.

The court said that Khan, as a former prime minister, is entitled to better class facilities in jail.

In its written order, the court stated that the PTI chairman’s lawyer had requested the provision of gym equipment to his client in jail; however, the court said it cannot issue such instructions because it is not clear whether such facilities are allowed or not.

The superintendent jail, the court said, is the authorised authority in this regard, and appropriate requests should be filed with them.

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The PPP promises the government will support the budget vote.

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Insiders state that the PPP will support the budget despite expressing reservations about it.

As previously stated, the party leaders had not yet decided whether to support or oppose the federal budget that the administration will be announcing today.

Leading figures have reportedly reached a resolution over the dispute between two parties that are allies.

In order to have the budget approved, the People’s Party will give the PML-N its whole support. Sources stated that the PPP would back the budget’s adoption “in spite of protests and speeches in committee.”

The administration promised the PPP that some of its recommendations would be included in the budget, according to sources. Voting supporting the PML-N budget is a quid pro quo commitment made by the PPP leadership.

For assistance in passing the budget, the PML-N had asked the PPP.

The PPP has not yet decided whether to accept or oppose the budget, according to PPP leader Nayya Bukhari.

The forthcoming yearly budget for 2024–25 and the state of the nation’s economy as a whole were the topics of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari’s Tuesday meeting.

The meeting was also attended by Professor Ahsan Iqbal, the Federal Minister for Planning and Special Initiatives, a press statement from the President’s House stated.

The protection of low-income and middle-class interests in the annual budget is a priority, as highlighted by President Zardari. Along with pledging his support for fiscal benchmarks to be met, he also gave the prime minister assurances on national development.

The next budget’s proposed development projects were also discussed by President Zardari and Prime Minister Shehbaz. He told the president about his recent five-day travel to China, the prime minister said.

On June 12th, or today, the federal government will unveil its budget for the fiscal year 2024–25.

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PM Shehbaz will preside over today’s federal cabinet meeting.

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We will talk about the political and economic state of the nation on Tuesday, or today.

The meeting, which will take place in the prime minister’s office, will be facilitated by the prime minister.

As per insiders, the prime minister is expected to reassure the cabinet on his recent trip to China. The meeting will also include a discussion of the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The decisions made at the sessions of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) are expected to be ratified by the cabinet as well, according to sources.

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Today, the IHC will hear the petitions of Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi in the matter of an illegal marriage.

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Imran Khan, the founder of PTI, and his wife Bushra Bibi will present their cases in an illegal marriage lawsuit before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) today, Tuesday.

At the hearing will be IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. Regarding both petitions, the registrar’s office has previously voiced objections.

Bushra Bibi has appealed in her petition that the high court to take note of a matter that is still ongoing in the sessions court about the suspension of her sentence in an illegal marriage case.

In his appeal, PTI founder argued that the District and Sessions Judge Shahrukh Arjumand should be ordered by the high court to announce the case’s reserved ruling.

Through Khalid Yousaf Chaudhry and Barrister Salman Safdar, Bushra Bibi’s attorneys, filed the petition.

The petition was moved in the interim on Imran Khan’s behalf by attorney Salman Akram Raja.

Notably, on February 3, a civil court condemned Imran Khan, the founder of the Pakistan Terrorist Organization, and Bushra Bibi to seven years in prison for their illegal marriage.

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