LAHORE: The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Lahore on Tuesday declared a police search warrant for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence “ineffective”.
ATC Judge Abhar Gul Khan, while announcing the reserved verdict on the PTI chief’s plea, said one-time search warrants are not for forever.
The PTI chief had moved the court three days back against the search warrants, naming the state, commissioner of Lahore, DIG operations Lahore, SSP operations Lahore, and others as respondents.
In the plea, the PTI chief claimed that law enforcement personnel secured the warrants with “malicious intent”.
“It is most respectfully prayed that the search warrant relating to petitioner’s house situated at Zaman Park, Lahore may kindly be set-aside /cancelled/recalled being illegal, unlawful, inappropriate which lacks the requisite legal parameters for a valid warrant in the interest of justice and fair play,” he said in the plea.
Urging the court to take strict action against the respondents, Khan asked the court to deal with them severely for “their unlawful and illegal misuse of authority under the pretext of the search warrant”.
The authorities had secured the search warrants claiming that they wanted to arrest the “terrorists” present inside the PTI chief’s residence. However, when they arrived there on May 19, Khan refused to allow a search operation at his residence.
At the outset of the hearing, the judge asked the commissioner what was the reason behind the law enforcers’ action at Zaman Park. The commissioner said his men went here to remove encroachments.
But, he noted, they had not followed up on the search warrants so far.
The judge asked the investigating officer whether he still needed the search warrants. At this, he said that he would respond to the court’s question after consulting his colleagues.
The court, after hearing arguments, had reserved the verdict.