Cipher Case: IHC Rejects Imran Khan’s Plea Against Holding His Trial In Jail


The Islamabad High Court has recently rejected PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s request to hold his trial in the cipher case outside the jail where is in custody currently.
A division bench of the IHC, consisting of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat, presided over the proceedings.
Imran Khan’s lawyer, Salman Akram Raja, appeared before the bench to contest the federal government’s notification dated September 29, which authorised his client’s trial in prison. Raja argued that the federal government lacked the authority to issue such a notification.
He explained that the law ministry issued the notification for Imran Khan’s prison trial at the request of the interior ministry due to security concerns. However, he noted that there was no record of the interior ministry’s written request.
Raja contended that since the notification was administrative in nature, the Islamabad commissioner, not the federal government, should have been the competent authority to issue it.
The lawyer has also referenced a previous IHC ruling, which stated that the federal government had the prerogative to appoint a judge of its choice. He emphasized that judges were judicial officers, and the federal government shouldn’t be allowed to pick and choose them.
Justice Aurangzeb raised concerns about the executive branch’s interference in the judiciary’s domain and suggested that the IHC Chief Justice might form a new bench after addressing the objections raised by the registrar’s office.
Furthermore, Justice Aurangzeb indicated that the court couldn’t grant interim relief to Imran Khan at this time, and the admissibility of the petition would be decided later.
Raja informed the bench that the decision to conduct a jail trial was made for security reasons, although Imran Khan had neither requested it nor been consulted about it. In its ruling, the IHC rejected the plea to halt the jail trial in the cypher case, cleared the registrar office’s objections, and forwarded the case to the chief justice of the IHC.
Prior to this month, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq stated that considering security concerns, a trial inside the jail was in Imran Khan’s favour. The judgment also noted that there was no apparent malicious intent in conducting the trial within the jail premises.
However, it was mentioned that if the petitioner had reservations, he could approach the trial court.