Attock jail officials told to provide medical facilities to Imran, allow meetings with friends and family

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday directed the Attock Jail administration to provide PTI Chairman Imran Khan with “appropriate medical facilities” and allow him to hold meetings with friends and family as provided in the law.

“He (the former prime minister) may also be provided with the prayer mat and English version of the Holy Quran,” the court said.

On Aug 5, an Islamabad trial court had declared Imran guilty of “corrupt practices” in a case pertaining to concealing details of state gifts and sentenced him to three years in prison. Soon after the verdict, he was arrested by the Punjab police from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore.

The trial court had ordered the Islamabad police chief to arrest the PTI chairman but he was instead arrested by the Lahore police. Moreover, the court had ordered the Adiala Jail superintendent to receive Imran but he was taken to the Attock Jail.

The PTI chief was given B-Class facilities by the Punjab prisons department. However, his lawyers had claimed that he was being kept in “distressing conditions” and was provided “C-Class jail facilities”.

Imran had subsequently moved the IHC seeking transfer from Attock Jail to a better class in Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi. The former prime minister also sought permission for regular visits by his legal team, family members, physician Faisal Sultan and political aides to the jail.

A day earlier, PTI lawyers also expressed “serious apprehensions” over Imran’s safety in Attock Jail.

At the previous hearing, the court had reserved its verdict on the plea, with IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq saying he will “issue an appropriate order” on it.

In a written order issued today, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the court sought a report from the respondents on the “reasons which led to the petitioner’s confinement in Attock jail” instead of Adiala jail.

Citing Rule 92 of the Pakistan Prison Rules 1978 (PPR), it noted that “every convicted prisoner is to be allowed reasonable opportunity to interview his relatives, friends and legal advisors for the purpose of preparing his appeal”.

“Every such interview is to be allowed within sight but out of hearing of the prison official supervising the interview.

“It seems that there is nothing on record which bars an interview with the prisoner more than once a week. The jail authorities shall provide reasonable opportunity to the relatives/ friends/legal advisors of the petitioner to seek [an] interview,” the order reads.

The court further directed that the PTI chairman be provided with a prayer mat and a copy of the English version of the Holy Quran, as well as “appropriate medical facilities to cater [to] his health and wellbeing”.

The order reiterated that the former premier be provided with “all the facilities as per his entitlement” under the PPR.

IHC summons Toshakhana case record
Separately, the IHC also sought the complete record of the Toshakhana case against Imran.

The order was issued by a division bench comprising Justice Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri on Imran’s petition against his conviction by a trial court in the said case.

The plea said the trial court order was “liable to be set aside” as it was passed “with the pre-disposed mind”.

At the previous hearing, IHC’s Justice Farooq had remarked that the court would issue notices first and decide the suspension only after hearing the respondents.

In a written order issued today, the court issued a notice to the district election commissioner of Islamabad.

“This appeal is directed against judgment dated 05.08.2023, whereby the appellant was tried in complaint filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan under section 190 of the Election Act, 2017, was convicted and awarded three (03) years imprisonment along with fine of Rs100,000.