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FIA Challenges Cypher Conviction Appeal Rights

FIA Challenges Cypher Conviction Appeal Rights

On Monday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed comprehensive arguments regarding the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) assertion that appeals against the conviction of Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cypher case were not admissible.

The two-member division bench, composed of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb, requested the FIA prosecutor to elaborate on why the appeals were considered inadmissible. Additionally, counterarguments were sought from the appellants’ lawyers.

Read more: Trial Of Imran Khan, Qureshi In Cypher Case Resumes At Adiala

During the appeal hearing, FIA Special Prosecutor Hamid Ali Shah objected, stating that the appeal was not filed under the Official Secrets Act, as the law did not grant such a right. He further noted the silence of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) on this matter.

The prosecutor continued by asserting that a two-member bench could not hear the appeal. In response, Barrister Salman Safdar, representing the PTI founder, pointed out that the same objection had been raised during the bail application, but the court had then ruled that it could proceed with the matter.

The court acknowledged that even if the objection were sustained, it would not conclude the proceedings, but rather alter the appeal’s status. The chief justice emphasized the need for compensation for everyone, and Justice Aurangzeb stated that the primary objection would be addressed first. The chief justice indicated the complexity of the case and requested detailed arguments, adjourning the hearing until March 13.

In a separate development, District and Sessions Judge Shahrukh Arjumand in Islamabad set a date for arguments on March 20 for a separate application to suspend the punishment of Bushra Bibi in the Iddat Nikah case. During the hearing, Bib’s first husband, Khawar Manika, sought additional time to engage a lawyer.