PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing a seminar. — AFP/File

PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressing a seminar. — AFP/File

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan is likely to appear before the Lahore High Court (LHC) by 12:30pm today to seek protective bail in a case registered against him over protests outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) office.

The PTI chairman had approached the LHC after an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad cancelled his bail.

At the outset of the hearing, Advocate Azhar Siddique submitted his power of attorney on behalf of Imran Khan who was directed to appear before the court in person today.

“A meeting with Imran Khan’s doctors is going on and the party has concerns over his security,” the lawyer argued before the court and requested additional time.

“How much time do you need?” asked Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh.

To this query, the counsel said that they will try their best to bring Imran Khan in two hours.

After hearing this, the court adjourned the hearing till 12:30pm.

The ATC had cancelled the bail after Imran Khan failed to appear before it on Wednesday and sought another exemption on medical grounds. The court rejected the plea and directed the former premier to ensure his presence by 3:30pm, however, the summons were challenged in the LHC.

‘Bring Imran on stretcher, or in ambulance’

During yesterday’s hearing, LHC’s Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh had remarked that the PTI chairman would be granted protective bail only if he appears before the court in person.

The ousted prime minister, who was removed from power via a no-confidence move, was booked in the case in October last year after the Toshakhana verdict was announced by the ECP, sparking countrywide protests. 

Khan had been on bail on medical grounds after he was injured in an assassination attempt in Wazirabad during a rally on November 3.

Not only had the ATC summoned the PTI chief, but a banking court had also asked Khan to appear before it in the prohibited funding case. However, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the banking court to hold its verdict till February 22 — in a sigh of relief for the ex-prime minister.

The LHC said that it would ensure Khan’s security and asked his counsel to ensure the PTI chief’s presence today as an in-person appearance was the first rule in a protective bail case.

“Whether you bring him on a stretcher or in an ambulance, it doesn’t matter, but without his in-person appearance, I will not grant bail,” Justice Sheikh had told the legal team before adjourning the hearing till today.

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