- Court orders FIA, other parties to submit responses in next hearing.
- Hearing adjourned till Dec 7.
- PTI challenged FIA’s summons, seeking a clean chit in case.
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday restricted the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from harassing PTI chief Imran Khan.
The directive came during the hearing of the PTI chief’s plea against the FIA summons in the prohibited funding case opened against him.
During the hearing, the court ordered the FIA and other parties to submit their responses at the next hearing. The court asked if some action could be taken against a political party following the instructions of the federal government.
“Does this inquiry have any legal protection or not?” asked the court.
In response to this, Khan’s lawyer said: “The inquiry of the prohibited funding case has no legal protection.”
The FIA alleges that the PTI’s accounts were opened with the signatures of the party’s top leadership, the court maintained.
“Do you accept these accounts?” questioned the court.
“There are 13 accounts that the PTI doesn’t accept,” replied the lawyer.
The hearing has been adjourned till December 7.
PTI challenges FIA summons
On November 5, the PTI’s legal team challenged the FIA’s summons to the party chairman in the high court, seeking a clean chit in the case which it termed was part of the government’s political witch hunt.
Khan, in his petition, disputed the FIA’s notice for his appearance before the agency on November 7 and made the Ministry of Interior, DG FIA, Deputy Director FIA, and the investigation officer stakeholders. The petition said FIA sent the notice with the intent of political victimisation on October 31.
“The FIA’s inquiry regarding PTI Punjab’s bank account is based on bad faith. The probe was initiated to harass the former prime minister,” the petition said.
The inquiry was aimed at benefiting the political rivals, the petition alleged. “No one has ever objected to the PTI’s opening party bank accounts. And in the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) ruling there are no instructions for FIA to investigate [PTI’s] bank accounts,” the petition read.