BHC suspends Imran Khan's arrest warrant for two weeks

BHC suspends Imran Khan's arrest warrant for two weeks

Quetta (Web Desk): The Balochistan High Court (BHC) on Friday suspended arrest warrants for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former premier Imran Khan in a case of hate speech against state institutions and officers.

Justice Zaheer-Ud-Din Kakar of the BHC heard the petition filed by Iqbal Shah of the Insaf Lawyers Forum (ISF) on behalf of the former premier.

In the petition, the PTI argued that the case registered against Imran at Quetta’s Bijli Road police station was not valid since the alleged offence did not fall under its jurisdiction.

The lawyer requested the court to dismiss the FIR.

Justice Kakar, while suspending the warrant, also issued the summons for the Balochistan police chief, SP legal and the station house officer of the Bijli Police Station.

The hearing was then adjourned for two weeks.

Earlier today a five-member team from Quetta reportedly arrived in Lahore to arrest the PTI chief.

On Thursday, a local court in Quetta issued arrest warrants for Imran Khan on the basis of a first information report (FIR) registered against him at Quetta’s Bijli Road police station.

The case wars registered under multiple sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (PECA).

Following the court orders, a police team was constituted, comprising SSP Investigation Muhammad Umar, DSP CIA Abdul Sattar Achakzai, Inspector Abdul Hameed and others.

On March 6, an FIR was registered against the former premier at the Bijli Road police station in Quetta by citizen Abdul Khalil Kakar.

In the FIR, Khalil said that Imran Khan in his speeches at Lahore Zaman park had levelled “baseless allegations against the state institutions”.

He alleged that the PTI chief's statement was tantamount to “destroying public peace and order”.

Imran has harmed the credibility of the institutions, the complainant said.

On March 5, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) slapped a ban on the live broadcast of the PTI chief accusing him of hurling verbal attacks at the state’s institutions and promoting hate speech.

Subsequently, Khan filed a petition in the LHC for the annulment of the ban, accusing the regulatory authority of exceeding its constitutional powers by imposing the restriction.

On Thursday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) suspended PEMRA's orders to ban the live telecast of Imran Khan's speeches and press talks.