ISLAMABAD - Special Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad Friday PTI Chairman Imran Khan and PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri as proclaimed offenders in a case related to the attack on a senior police officer, SSP Asmatullah Junejo.

ATC judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi declared both the protesting political leaders as proclaimed offenders after federal capital police submitted its report stating that Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri were not surrendering before the law enforcing agency despite the fact that the court had issued their non-bailable arrest warrants in an FIR No 211 of attacking the senior police official.

However, the legal fraternity expressed their astonishment over the ATC verdict and termed it "hot haste" on the part of the court.

Earlier, Secretariat police had registered FIRs against the PTI and PAT leadership for beating SSP Operations Asmatullah Junejo on Sept 1 who was leading a police party deployed to protect state buildings in the federal capital's Red Zone and tried to stop the charged workers of PTI and PAT from entering the Pak Secretariat and he was wounded in confronting the protesters.

During the hearing, the prosecutor Syed Muhammad Tayyab Shah submitted a police report regarding the arrest of both the leaders before the court.

The ATC judge enquired from the police why they failed to arrest the accused as Imran Khan delivered speeches at D-Chowk in front of the Parliament House on daily basis.

The police official replied that it is feared that law and order situation be created if they tried to arrest Imran Khan and other PTI leaders from the venue of the sit-in while he added that Qadri is not present in the country.

Police added that those who were nominated in the FIR related to attack on the SSP are not cooperating with the police during the course of investigation hence the investigation process is not being preceded.

Then, the judge announced his judgment declaring Imran Khan and Qadri as proclaimed offenders under section 87 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and directed the police to immediately arrest both the accused persons.

The court also directed to display absconder advertisement of both the leaders at their residence and public places.

Talking to The Nation in this regard, media coordinator of Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) Khalid Chaudhary Advocate termed the decision against the law without applying judicial mind.

"The decision is also against the norms of justice system and the requirement of section 87," maintained Khalid Chaudhary.

Even he was of the view that in this matter show cause notice should be issued to the concerned SHO for his failure to arrest the accused who was publicly present.

An eminent lawyer Ilyas Siddiqui Advocate termed the verdict "hot haste" but he was of the view that court could issue such orders.

He added that court could declare someone a proclaimed offender if the accused person is avoiding the arrest intentionally.

Another prominent lawyer Barrister Afzal Hussain stated that apparently, it seems not suitable to issue such orders but conclusive opinion could not be given without seeing the record and police report submitted before the court.

However, he remarked that both the leaders should appear before the court in respect of the judiciary and courts and they should get themselves clear from the courts by adopting proper legal procedure in this connection.

On the other hand, Syed Tayyab Shah Advocate who is prosecutor in this case told this scribe that he adopted before the court that both the leaders Imran Khan and Qadri are not surrendering before the law-enforcing agency despite issuance of their arrest warrants.

He added that therefore, the court declared both the leaders as proclaimed offenders and directed to display their absconder advertisement.

The prosecutor continued that in the light of court directions, now their absconder advertisement would be displayed on the notice boards of court and the police and two other conspicuous places.

Replying to a question, he made it clear that they completely followed the prescribed procedure as they had obtained their arrest warrants some two weeks ago and asked the accused to surrender before the police in this matter.

He also said that police had stated in the report that they did not arrest Imran Khan from D-Chowk due to possibility of any resistance.

Tayyab Shah further told that police would soon complete its investigation report (challan) and then he would submit it before the court.

Previously, the same court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, PTI leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar and Arif Alvi and PAT leaders Abbasi, Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali and others for attack on Parliament House and PTV building.