An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad on Monday extended the interim bails of several Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders in the judicial complex riot case. PTI leaders Asad Umar, Aamir Kayani, Zulfi Bukhari, Khurram Shehzad, Umar Ayub, Hammad Azhar, Ali Awan Nawaz and Shehzad Waseem were present in court along with 75 other party workers produced by police. PTI’s lawyers Sardar Masroof, Ali Bukhari and Naeem Panjotha were also present in the court. During the hearing, the judge remarked that until the Islamabad High Court (IHC) gives a decision on the case, the ATC cannot announce a verdict. Judge Abbas added that when a matter is being heard in the IHC, hearings cannot be held in sessions courts. At this point, the investigating officer said PTI leaders have not yet been made part of the investigation. Moreover, during the hearing, PTI leader Shibli Faraz’s application for exemption from attendance due to coronavirus was also filed. Panjotha then made his remarks during the hearing and argued that Hasan Niazi was arrested without being present at the premises. He furthered that PTI leader Murad Saeed’s house was raided and Farrukh Habib’s in-law’s residence was also raided, adding that PTI leaders have problems appearing in court due to the fear of abduction. The judge then inquired under which plea shall the leaders be given protection. To this, the lawyer replied that an application for protection has been filed in the IHC but a decision has not been made yet. The court also accepted the pleas of Shibli Faraz, Murad Saeed, Farrukh Habib and Hasan Niazi for exemption from their appearance and extended the interim bails of the PTI leaders till May 17. On March 18, the PTI chief Imran Khan reached the G-11 Judicial Complex accompanied by 4,000 activists to appear before a district and sessions court in the Toshakhana case – in which he faced charges of concealing details of the gifts he had acquired from the depository in his asset declarations submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which had then filed a complaint against him. However, the police and activists engaged in fierce clashes outside the complex as the latter wanted to escort their chief onto the court premises but the former did not permit them to do so because of security arrangements, compelling the judge to put off the proceedings and cancel Imran’s non-bailable arrest warrants after marking his attendance at the gate. Hours after the clashes took place, the former premier and other PTI leaders as well as activists were booked under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act at Ramna police station in the federal capital.