11 May: Pakistan Supreme Court pulls up NAB, slams manner of Imran Khan’s arrest
The Pakistan Supreme Court on Thursday expressed its displeasure over the manner in which former prime minister Imran Khan was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from the Islamabad High Court premises on Tuesday.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard a petition filed by Khan’s lawyer challenging his arrest and seeking his release on bail.
The bench observed that the NAB had violated the law and the court’s orders by arresting Khan without prior notice and without giving him a chance to file an appeal.
The bench also questioned why the NAB had not filed a reference against Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case, in which he is accused of looting Rs 50 billion of the national treasury, despite having initiated an inquiry in 2019.
The bench directed the NAB to submit a report on the status of the case and adjourned the hearing till Friday.
Khan’s arrest sparked violent protests across Pakistan by his supporters, who attacked government and army buildings, set fire to police stations and vehicles, and clashed with security forces.
At least seven people have been killed and over 1,000 arrested in the unrest that has gripped the country for two days.
The government has deployed troops in Islamabad and three provinces to restore law and order and has banned TV channels from airing Khan’s speeches and images.
Khan, who is also facing another corruption case related to receiving luxury vehicles and gifts from foreign leaders, has denied any wrongdoing and accused the government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of political victimization.
He is currently in NAB custody for eight days after an accountability court remanded him on Wednesday.