ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will not have to appear in an anti-terrorism court (ATC) here to stand trial in a case pertaining to the attacks on the state television and parliament buildings during the 2014 sit-in as the court granted him permanent exemption from personal appearance on Tuesday.
The premier through his counsel Babar Awan filed an application seeking permanent exemption from appearance in court.
ATC Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi granted his plea, exempting him from appearing before the court during hearing of the case.
When the judge asked a prosecutor in attendance about his response, he replied he had no objection to the premier’s exemption request.
The judge also allowed applications of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, PTI leader Jahangir Tareen, Ijaz Chaudhry, Shafqat Mehmood and Aleem Khan for personal exemption from the trial proceedings.
The hearing of the case was put off till October 1.
Mr Khan was booked in four cases for allegedly inciting the crowd to violence, inflicting damage to the public properties including Pakistan Television (PTV) and Parliament House buildings in Islamabad.
Earlier, the court had granted him bail against a surety of Rs 200,000 in each case.
Police had booked Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri along with their supporters in a number of cases during the 2014 sit-in calling for the resignation of the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
In a case, 70 people were booked after a mob of protesters belonging to the PTI and PAT stormed PTV headquarters and forced its staff to take two of the state broadcaster’s flagship channels — PTV News and PTV World — off the air on Sept 1, 2014.
The protesters were also charged with attacking government properties including the Parliament House building.
Another case related to the attack on then-Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Asmatullah Junejo.