Friday April 19, 2024

Islamabad DC's arrest warrants issued, name placed on no-fly list in contempt case

Islamabad DC Irfan Nawaz Memon skips hearing of case pertaining to Shehryar Afridi's detention under 3MPO

By Awais Yusafzai
February 20, 2024
A general view of the Islamabad High Court. — Geo News
A general view of the Islamabad High Court. — Geo News

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday tightened the noose around Islamabad Deputy Commissioner (DC) Irfan Nawaz Memon by ordering his arrest and name to be placed on the no-fly list for not appearing before the court despite being summoned.

Memon along with Islamabad Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Malik Jamil Zafar, Islamabad Superintendent of Police (SP) Farooq Buttar are facing a contempt case for exceeding their authority by detaining Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shehryar Afridi's detention under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) ordinance.

The ordinance provides the government with vast powers of detention and has been used by authorities to round up and detain PTI leaders following the May 9 riots.

SP Operations Zafar and Superintendent of Police (SP) Farooq Buttar appeared before IHC's Justice Babar Sattar. However, the lawyer representing Islamabad DC submitted a plea for Memon's exemption from the court.

"My client is currently in Khairpur as he has to go to perform Umrah," the lawyer informed the court. At this, Justice Sattar remarked that the court hadn't accepted the plea for exemption.

"Let the Ministry of Interior and DG Passports also ensure that the name of Irfan Nawaz Memon is placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) so that he is unable to leave the territorial jurisdiction of Pakistan," a short order released by the court stated.

It also directed the inspector generals of police (IGPs) of all four provinces and the federal capital to "arrest" Islamabad DC and present him before the court tomorrow (Wednesday) at 9am.

Afridi was detained by the police in connection with the May 9 violence, under 3MPO on May 16, 2023. He was released on May 30, 2023, but only to be arrested again outside the prison.

However, the PTI leader acquired bail from the Lahore High Court on July 31, 2023, but was retaken into custody a few days later by the Rawalpindi police soon after his release from Adiala jail.

He then approached the IHC via his lawyer seeking his release and for the MPO order to be set aside.

It may be noted that the court has indicted Memon and three others including, SSP Zafar, SP Buttar, and an SHO, in the case.

At an earlier hearing, the high court ruled that the federal capital’s deputy commissioner, who also acts as the district magistrate, does not have the authority to issue detention orders under 3MPO.