Supreme Court summons investigators in response to Gill’s plea against physical custody

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The Supreme Court has sent notices to federal investigators and summoned them in a personal capacity to assess whether physical custody was required to conclude criminal proceedings.

On Friday, SC summoned federal investigators in response to a plea submitted by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill.

A three-judge bench made up of Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel rendered the ruling after hearing the case brought by senior attorney Barrister Salman Safdar on behalf of Gill.

The development comes following Shahbaz Gill’s case wherein a first information report (FIR) was filed against him in early August for encouraging mutiny within the military forces during an interview with a TV channel.

Gill’s lawyer Salman Safdar during the hearing said that the trial court exceeded its authority in this case.

He said the torture that was inflicted on Shahbaz Gill was unprecedented.

The petition submitted to the Supreme Court questioned whether the approval of the federal government, as stated by the Supreme Court in the Mustafa Impex case of 2016, was a necessary prerequisite before the filing of a criminal case on charges of mutiny and sedition.

It was also questioned whether the arrest, detention, and remand would be null and void in the absence of consent by the federal cabinet, leading to a serious miscarriage of justice.

The plea asked if the 14-day remand and physical custody of an accused in this sedition and mutiny case were appropriate given that the main focus of the accusations was a speech.

The petition also asked if the IHC order appointing the police chief to investigate the claims of torture and physical abuse by the police, operating under his command, could ensure uncovering of the truth.

The petition questioned whether the alleged use of torture and physical abuse during police custody and interrogation could be justified under the constitution, the Criminal Procedure Code, as well as the Police Rules.