Govt challenges IHC cypher trial verdict in Supreme CourtBreaking

January 19, 2024

The federal government has challenged the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) 21 November, 2023 decision to annul the jail trial of PTI founder Imran Khan in cypher case. On 21 November last year, the IHC had declared the proceedings of Imran Khan’s trial conducted in jail in the cypher case as null and void. However, the appointment of the judge to the special court formed under the Official Secrets Act was held to be valid. An IHC division bench, comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz, had pronounced the verdict on Imran’s intra-court appeal against a single-member bench’s decision to approve his jail trial in the cypher case and the appointment of the judge to the special court formed under the Official Secrets Act, 1923. Approving the maintainability of the appeal, the court declared that the notification issued by the law ministry on August 29 -- which read that the Law and Justice Division had “no objection” to PTI chairman’s trial in the cypher case being held at Attock jail -- was without lawful authority and no legal effect “for want of an order by the appropriate government and fulfilment of requirements provided in Section 352 of the CrPC [Code of Criminal Procedure] as well as Rule 3 in Part-A of Chapter-1 in Volume-III of the Rules and Orders of the Lahore High Court”.

In its short order, the court also declared the law ministry’s notifications about Imran’s jail trial issued on September 12, September 25, October 3, and October 13 to be “without lawful authority and no legal effect”. On Friday, the federal government challenged the IHC order in the Supreme Court through Raja Rizwan Abbasi advocate, praying the apex court to annul the IHC verdict, arguing the high court did not analyse the facts correctly. The federal government further said that the IHC has no authority to abolish the status of the special court. It its challenge, the federal government made PTI founder and judge Abual Hasnat as respondents along with FIA director general, Islamabad IG chief and deputy commissioners.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan (INP)