Islamabad court rejected a police request to extend the physical remand of senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill on Friday, who was presented in court after the completion of his two-day physical remand in a sedition case.
Court decided to grant a judicial remand while announcing the verdict it had reserved earlier during the hearing.
The police asked for Gill’s remand to be extended at the hearing but the court rejected this request.
According to reports, Gill during the court hearing said, “During the investigation, they used to ask me how many times I have met General Faiz Hameed.”
Gill stated in his testimony before the court, “I would never even consider saying something like that about the Pakistani Army. I’m not a criminal; I’m a professor.”
Announcing to the magistrate that he had been mistreated and that no medical examination had been conducted, Gill pulled up his shirt and showed his back.
He said, “A fake report has been produced for my medical exam.”
He claimed that he had not been kept in the Kohsar Police Station’s holding cell, where the case had been filed, and that he had been made to stay up all night without being given the opportunity to speak with his attorneys.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan issued a statement on Twitter, “Strongly condemn the torture being inflicted on Shahbaz Gill. Under what law and under whose order is this being done? If he broke any law then he should be given a fair hearing. But just to salvage imported govt of crooks the Constitution and all laws are being violated with impunity.”
Imran Khan also asked the judiciary to take notice and said, “Judiciary needs to take notice of this. ARY’s news editor was picked up violently late at night from his home without a warrant and a wife with a suckling baby was picked up illegally because her husband worked for Gill. A climate of fear is being spread to make people kowtow before a cabal of crooks.”
Advocate General Punjab Ahmed Owais said that if Shahbaz Gill’s case was to be heard in a military court, Maryam Nawaz, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, and Nawaz Sharif should also be heard in a military court.
Media reports citing sources have said that it was considered in military circles that a person involved in such an offence should be tried in a military court under the Army Act.
According to a legal expert, under section (d) (1) 2 of the Army Act, a civilian could be prosecuted in such cases, but a senior lawyer on human rights and military affairs, Colonel (R) Inam-ul-Rahim says that only civilians who are in operational areas can be tried and that too to the extent that they have violated the Official Secrets Act.
On August 9, Islamabad police arrested Shahbaz Gill on charges of “inciting the public against state institutions”.