LHC emphasises need for Imran to appear in court for bail relief in terrorism cases.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday emphasised the need for PTI Chairman Imran Khan to appear in court as it took up the ex-premier's plea seeking protective bail in two terrorism cases registered against him in Islamabad following clashes at the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) on Saturday.

The first information reports (FIRs) registered at the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and the Golra police stations in the capital accused the PTI chief and party workers of being involved in attacking police and creating unrest outside the FJC in Islamabad during the hearing of the Toshakhana case on Saturday.

The FIR invokes sections 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 380 (theft in dwelling house, etc), 395 (punishment for dacoity), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage to amount of one hundred rupees or [in case of agricultural produce] ten rupees), 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt), and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code. The complaints alleged that PTI workers set vehicles on fire, and stole weapons and a wireless set from a police vehicle.

PTI leaders Asad Umar, Asad Qaiser, Hammad Azhar, Ali Amin Gandapur, Ali Nawaz Awan, Murad Saeed, Shibli Faraz, Hassaan Khan Niazi, Omer Ayub Khan, Amjad Khan Niazi, Khurram Nawaz, Jamshed Mughal, Aamir Kiyani, Farrukh Habib, Dr Shehzad Waseem, Umer Sultan, and Imran Khan's Chief Security Officer Muhammad Asim were among those nominated in the cases.

In the petitions filed through Barrister Salman Safdar on Monday, the PTI chief sought protective bail to 'enable him to surrender and approach the competent court having jurisdiction to entertain the bail petition'.

'The petitioner is currently residing at his Zaman Park residence which is surrounded by police to effect the unlawful arrest. It is petitioner's fundamental right that he be allowed to approach and personally appear before this court and a strict direction be issued to authorities to enable the petitioner to approach without any mischief by the police,' the plea added.

The hearing

Taking up the pleas, a two-member bench of the...

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