Imran Khan Appears Before SC Via Video Link In NAB Amendment Case

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Imran Khan appears before SC via video link in NAB amendment case

A Supreme Court larger bench is hearing the case while Imran Khan has also been present there via the video link.

ISLAMABAD: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-May 16th, 2024) Imran Khan, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI), appeared before the Supreme Court via video link in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) amendments case on Thursday.

A SC five-member bench led by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa took up the intra-court appeals moved by the Federal and the provincial governments against the amendments in the NAB law.

The hearing of the case was not telecast on any tv channel or official YouTube of the top court.

Makhdoom Ali Khan, a senior lawyer, represented the government before the court while Khawaja Haris appeared as a counsel of Imran Khan. Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan, the PTI lawyers, leaders and a large number of journalists were also present there.

During the hearing, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa inquired about the establishment of the video link with Khan.

Following confirmation, the government's counsel began presenting arguments, ensuring they were audible to Khan via video link.

The court also sought details of the NAB amendments case hearing from the Islamabad High Court. Khan's lawyer, Khawaja Haris, was present in the SC and expressed his intention to argue the case.

He declined to submit a fee bill, stating that he was willing to present arguments pro bono. The hearing also delved into the prolonged proceedings of the case, with the government's counsel citing reasons for the extended duration.

The case, which involved more than 50 hearings, challenged amendments to the accountability laws during the previous Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government's tenure.

The SC's verdict, restoring graft cases against public office holders and declaring the amendments void, holds significant implications for pending references against political figures like Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, and others.

Following the verdict, the federal government filed an appeal under Section 5 of the SC law against the apex court’s decision.

Earlier preparations at Adiala Jail for Khan's appearance via video link were completed following the Supreme Court's directives.

Khan, currently detained at Adiala Jail, expressed a desire to present his arguments in person but was permitted to do so via video link.

Prior to the hearing, Khan's lawyers Khawaja Haris and Intezar Panjutha met him in jail as per SC's instructions.

Khan's appearance via video link marks his first public appearance in nearly ten months if the bench opts for live streaming. Adiala jail authorities confirmed that Khan's video link appearance was arranged in compliance with the apex court's orders.

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.