Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh noted difference in signatures while hearing PTI chief’s plea for protective bail
Former prime minister Imran Khan addressing from his residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park on February 15, 2023.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan is likely to appear before the Lahore High Court on Monday for the verification of his signatures on three documents in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) protest case.
The difference in the signatures was noted by Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh while hearing petitioner Imran’s protective bail plea in a case pertaining to the protests outside the ECP.
On February 16, Justice Sheikh had summoned Imran Khan by February 20 (today) after PTI’s counsel ensured the appearance of the petitioner before the court.
Read Imran Khan likely to appear in LHC tomorrow
In the proceedings held on Thursday, one of the ex-PM’s protective bail pleas was dismissed as non-prosecution after a day’s long confusion over whether or not Imran would appear before the LHC, despite promises to the court to produce him.
Meanwhile, the second application was adjourned till February 20 after PTI ensured the party chief’s appearance.
On Thursday, Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh presided over the proceedings where the case took a new turn when Justice Sheikh keeping aside the issue of “the petitioner’s presence into the court is prerequisite for getting protective bail” questioned the difference in the petitioner’s signatures on three documents (petition, affidavit and power of attorney).
Justice Sheikh made it clear that he would issue a contempt notice to either Imran or his counsel over deceiving the court. However, the proceedings were adjourned for a short interval with direction to PTI’s counsel advocate Azhar Siddique to explain his position regarding the three documents.
Siddique argued that there are two major issues: one being Imran’s health and the second being his security.
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“The petitioner has already survived an assassination attempt. Taliban groups had threatened to kill him. How, under such circumstances, could he appear before the court in the absence of security clearance?” he said.
The lawyer further argued that the court could constitute a commission to send to the petitioner’s residence to testify his signatures or take his view via a video link.
The court rejected all suggestions made by the counsel and said that Imran should be present in the LHC, otherwise his petition will be dismissed.
Meanwhile, a division bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi conducted proceedings in a separate case registered in Islamabad Sangjani police station against PTI’s leaders including Imran.
The case was registered under different sections including 7-ATA over blocking Srinagar Highway, creating law and order and chaos, intervening in state mater, damaging state properties, and attacking police.
The court dismissed Imran’s protective bail as non-prosecution.