ATC verdict on PM’s acquittal plea in 2014 sit-in case on Dec 5


ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on an application seeking the acquittal of Prime Minister Imran Khan in a case related to attacks on Parliament House and Pakistan Television (PTV) during the 126-day long sit-in by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in 2014.

Chaudhry Shafqaat, who was representing the government, did not object to the acquittal of the premier in the case, saying the cases were made on a political basis.

“Nothing will come of these cases, only the court’s time will be wasted,” he apprised the bench.

PM’s counsel Babar Awan presented arguments in favour of the application and said that terrorism provisions could not be added for a speech made during the sit-in or for opposing Section 144 of the criminal procedure code (CrPC).

Previously, various PTI leaders including Prime Minister Imran, President Arif Alvi, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and others were exempted from personal attendance in case proceedings.

On Aug 31, 2014, PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers marched towards the Parliament House and Prime Minister House and clashed with police deployed at Constitution Avenue.

Police invoked the anti-terrorism act against then PTI chief Imran and party leaders including President Alvi, Asad Umar, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Shafqat Mehmood and Raja Khurram Nawaz for inciting violence during the 2014 sit-in.

As per the prosecution, three people were killed and 26 others were injured while 60 individuals were arrested. The prosecution had submitted 65 photos, sticks, cutters and other objects to the court as evidence to establish its case.

The prosecution had said the protest was not peaceful and the PTI leaders sought bail after three years.

After hearing the arguments of the parties in the case today, the court reserved its verdict on the application seeking the acquittal of Prime Minister Imran. The verdict will be announced on Dec 5.