Court extends interim bail of PTI’s leaders

Fayyaz Chohan, Mussarat Cheema also get interim bail in Punjab Assembly ruckus case

A lower court of Islamabad on Monday extended the interim bails of 38 accused, including Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)’s leaders, in FIRs pertaining to vandalising the public property during the recent long march of the party.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Imran Ismail, Ali Nawaz Awan, Raja Khurram Nawaz, Sarwar Khan, Aamir Kayani, Faisal Javed, Sheharyar Afridi, Sheikh Rashid, Ali Muhammad Khan, Saifullah Khan, and Zartaj Gul were given further pre-arrest bail till June 20.

District and Sessions Judge Kamran Basharrat Mufti, hearing the cases, also sought arguments from respondents at the next hearing. At the outset of the hearing, the court asked the prosecutor whether the investigation of the cases have been completed. At this, the prosecutor said it was yet to be completed, adding that several accused had not joined the investigation process so far.

Dr Baber Awan said his clients had approached the police stations many times but they were told that the concerned officer was unavailable. The court asked the defence lawyer to ensure every accused joined the investigation process. The court adjourned the hearing of the case till June 20.

Earlier in the day, a sessions court granted interim bail to former provincial minister Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan and MPA Mussarat Jamshed Cheema in the Punjab Assembly ruckus case. The court directed the accused to submit surety bonds of Rs50,000 each for availing the relief.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Yasin Mohal heard the bail applications of both PTI leaders.

The petitioners’ counsel argued before the court that his clients were not involved in any ruckus. He submitted that the case was registered with malafide intentions. He pleaded with the court to grant a benefit of bail to his clients. The court, after hearing initial arguments, granted interim bail to the accused and sought a record from the police on the next date of hearing, June 18.

Qila Gujjar Singh Police had registered a case under sections 324, 353, 186 and 427 of the Pakistan Penal Code against unidentified people for creating ruckus and torturing Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari and other members during an assembly session held on April 16.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) adjourned the hearing on a contempt of court case against ex-chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim on controversial statements about the alleged telephonic conversation of former chief justice Saqib Nisar.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri heard the appeal of Rana Shamim against his indictment in the case.