Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain of the special Official Secrets Act court conducted the hearing in the cipher case in Jail on Wednesday morning. Imran Khan’s legal team was also present during the hearing, while a special team of the FIA also attended the hearing. At the outset of the hearing, the PTI chief’s attendance was marked. Earlier, the judge was allowed to enter the district jail under tight security, while Imran Khan’s legal team was stopped at the checkpost but later allowed to go in. Meanwhile, the judge also extended PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi's judicial remand in the same case till September 26.
On Tuesday, the Law Ministry had issued a notification for conducting the hearing at the district jail. The hearing will be conducted in the jail owing to security purposes. Imran Khan has challenged the notification of the cipher case hearing being conducted in the jail. The Islamabad High Court had on Tuesday reserved its decision after hearing the arguments. IHC Chief Justice had remarked that jail was not something that has never happened. The PTI chairman’s lawyer Sher Afzal Marwat read out the Law Ministry’s notification in court.
He questioned the law under which the ministry transferred the court to the jail. Only the Supreme Court has the authority to transfer a trial from Islamabad to any other province, he remarked. The lawyer further contended that Imran Khan could not be kept in Attock Jail after his sentence in the Toshakhana case was suspended. Under the Official Secrets Act, a civilian’s trial is conducted by a special court.
Additional Attorney General Munawar Iqbal Duggal said the notification related to the jail trial was for one time, adding the Ministry of Law has the authority to issue the notification as per the Rules of Business. Prosecutor Zulfiqar Abbas Naqvi said the cipher case is not being tried yet. Sher Afzal Marwat said the decision on another petition is also reserved, and requested for it to be pronounced soon.
Credit: Independent News Pakistan (INP)