An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore ordered on Thursday to hand over those accused of attacking the corps commander’s house in Lahore’s Cantonment area to the army, whereby the military courts are to initiate trials against them.
In an unprecedented show of vandalism, PTI supporters had attacked and caused damage to the historic Corps’ Commander’s House — originally known as Jinnah House and which once served as the residence of the founding father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah — hours after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case on May 9.
The commanding officer had sought the custody of 16 accused of involvement in the attack which includes former MPA Mian Akram Usman.
According to the officer, the suspects have been found guilty under Sections 3,7 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act.
He maintained that the ATC has therefore, decided that they can be tried under the Army Act 1952.
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As per the court’s verdict, the prosecution did not oppose the commander’s request and subsequently, the court ordered for all 16 accused persons to be remanded over to the officer.
According to sources, the accused include Ammar Zohaib, Ali Iftikhar, Ali Raza, Muhammad Arsalan, Muhammad Umair, Muhammad Rahim, Ziaur Rehman, Waqas Ali, Rais Ahmed, Faisal Arshad, Muhammad Bilal, Faheem Haider, Arzam Junaid, Mian Muhammad Akram Usman, Muhammad Hasher Khan and Hassan Shakir.
Meanwhile, the PTI chief has filed a petition with the Supreme Court (SC) urging it to take notice of the “undeclared martial law” in parts of the country and the ongoing aggressive crackdown on his party.
Imran, through his lawyer Hamid Khan, has requested the apex court to probe into the government’s decision to call “in the aid of the armed forces in the Federal Capital Territory, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) in the purported exercise of powers under Article 245 of the Constitution”.
“The dictated exercise of this power by the federal cabinet in the absence of objective conditions for the exercise of that power is clearly violative of the fundamental rights,” the petition stated.
Imran also pleaded to the SC to appoint a commission led by a SC judge to probe the events surrounding his arrest on May 9 and subsequent incidents.