Imran Khan's cipher case bail plea hearing to be live streamed?

Imran Khan's cipher case bail plea hearing to be live streamed?

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has chosen to withhold its decision regarding the request for an open hearing of Imran's bail plea in the cipher case.

During this hearing, Justice Farooq presided, and Imran was represented by a legal team led by lawyers Salman Safdar, Niazullah Niazi, and Ali Bukhari. Additionally, special prosecutors Zulfikar Naqvi and Shah Khawar were present in the courtroom.

At the commencement of the proceedings, Khawar argued that certain sensitive information could not be disclosed in open court, citing the Official Secrets Act as the reason for an in-camera hearing. Justice Farooq, however, emphasized that this case was a bail petition, not a criminal appeal. Khawar then informed the court that the formal charges in the cipher case would be ready in a few days. Barrister Safdar raised the point that the special court judge had conducted the hearing at Attock jail due to security concerns, rather than solely because of the Secrets Act.

He suggested that if necessary, the court could exclude irrelevant individuals from the courtroom. Khawar responded by asserting that the bail matter was an integral part of the cipher case hearing. Safdar further emphasized the significance of the case, pointing out that both Imran and PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi were under arrest, and complications were arising in the post-arrest bail application.

In response, Justice Farooq indicated that he would carefully review the case record before determining the course of action. Subsequently, the IHC decided to reserve its verdict on this matter. During the proceedings, Marwat addressed the court, highlighting the national interest and attention surrounding this bail plea.

In response, the Chief Justice of the IHC commented on the possibility of live-streaming court hearings, acknowledging that such a move could attract a global audience.

He expressed his readiness to initiate this practice from his court and stressed the importance of being adequately prepared for such developments.