High court nullifies jail trial of Imran Khan in cipher case

Division bench says appointment of judge under Official Secrets Act is lawfull.

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday declared null and void the jail trial of former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan in the cipher case. 

A division bench of the high court accepted the appeal of the jailed former prime minister and announced its verdict which was earlier reserved.

The division bench comprising Justices Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb and Saman Riffat Imtiaz however said the appointment of the special court judge under Official Secret Act was lawful.

According to the court judgment, “In exceptional circumstances and where it is conducive to justice, a trial can be conducted in jail in a manner that fulfills the requirements of an open trial or a trial in-camera provided it is in accordance with the procedure provided by law,” it said.

Further, notifications issued by the law ministry regarding Imran’s jail trial on September 12, September 25, October 3, October 13 were declared to be “without lawful authority and no legal effect”.

Three weeks ago, the IHC had issued a stay order in the trial of former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan in Adiala jail in the cipher case.

The court issued the restraining order in an intra-court appeal filed by Imran Khan. The bench comprised Justices Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb and Saman Riffat Imtiaz.

During the hearing, Justice Aurangzeb asks the attorney general to tell the court what were the extraordinary circumstances under which the jail trial of the former prime minister had been allowed.  The attorney general said he would submit all records from the relevant quarters to the court.

The judge observed that per se all the notifications issued for the jail trial of Imran Khan were against the relevant roles of the high court.

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