ISLAMABAD – An anti-terrorism court has granted Constitutional immunity to President Arif Alvi by suspending proceedings against him in a case pertaining to inciting violence during 2014 sit-in in the federal capital.
ATC Judge Syed Kausar Abbasi Zaidi said that the trial of Alvi will be restarted after his term as president ends.
“An accused person facing trial namely Dr Arif Alvi has already been elected and has taken oath of the office of President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Keeping in view the above fact in light of Article 248 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, protection has been provided to the President and as per Article 248 (2) of the Constitution, no criminal proceeding whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or a Governor in any court during term of office,” the judge issued order while hearing the cases related to torturing a police officer and attacking PTV and Parliament.
Under clause (2) of the Article 248, “no criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or a Governor in any Court during his term of office.”
Under Article 248, the trial proceedings against the president have adjourned sine die till the expiry of his term.
When Dr Alvi took the new charge, he announced against availing presidential immunity. However, according to local media, his counsel Mohammad Ali Bukhari had highlighted that the president under the Constitution enjoyed immunity in the criminal cases.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is among other PTI leaders who are accused in the case. However, the court granted him permanent exemption from appearance in the court.
In August 2014, a clash erupted between police and protesters of PTI and PAT in Islamabad when the agitators tried to breach the security cordon after they failed to reach an agreement with the then government on the resignation of the prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
In the clash, three protesters were killed and more than 500 injured including police officials. SSP Junejo was also among the injured.