ISLAMABAD: A district and sessions court in Islamabad fixed November 22 for the indictment of PTI leader Shahbaz Gill and ARY News’ employee Ammad Yousuf in the sedition case.
Gill and Yousuf have been facing sedition charges for inciting mutiny within the Pakistan Army following the former's remarks during a private TV channel's show.
Additional Sessions Judge Tahir Abbas Sipra heard the case, while Gill and Yousuf appeared in the court and registered their attendance.
The investigation officer informed the court that the police do not have any concrete evidence against Salman Iqbal; therefore, the challans are complete as far as the two suspects are concerned.
Gill’s counsel Muhammad Ali Bukhari said that all the accusations are related to the same programme. Some of the suspects, in this case, are on bail, while one has died.
According to the law, proceedings will not progress unless the report is not completed.
Public prosecutor Raja Rizwan Abbasi stated that there is no concrete evidence or anything on record against other suspects in the case except for Gill and Yousuf.
“We want to proceed on this case,” he said during the hearing.
Gill’s counsel argued that the sedition provisions are reflective of colonial law. In addition to a fair trial, he asked the court to also see on the basis of what evidence should the case proceed.
“First it should be decided if the case can proceed or not at this stage,” he added.
The judge maintained that the objection can be raised after copies of the reference are received; whether a challan is complete or not, the court has to proceed with the trial.
Yousuf submitted a petition for permanent exemption from appearing in court, following which he was issued notices.
The prosecutor said that there is no objection to granting a permanent exemption after framing the charge against the suspects.
The court distributed copies of the challan among the suspects in which the copies of the first information report and the statements of witnesses were also included.
It should be noted that the police have already issued its statement regarding the lack of concrete evidence against Salman Iqbal, Khawar Ghumman, Adeel Raja, and Sadaf Abdul Jabbar, while journalist Arshad Sharif is no longer part of the case following his murder in Kenya.
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