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Friday August 12, 2022

SHC grants protective bail to PTI MPAs in terrorism, arson cases

By our correspondents
May 28, 2022

The Sindh High Court on Friday granted protective bail to five Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf MPAs in two terrorism and arson-related cases.

MPAs Arsalan Taj Ghuman, Mohammad Ali Aziz, Syed Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Khurrum Sher Zaman and Jamaluddin Siddiqui were nominated in two terrorism and arson-related cases by the Ferozabad and Solider Bazar police during PTI protest demonstrations in the city on May 25.

Police alleged that the PTI lawmakers and activists gathered in the old Numaish area, conducted an unlawful assembly, blocked the road and pelted stones at the police deployed in the area.

Police alleged that due to the act of the accused, extreme fear and terror spread in the area and the PTI lawmakers and activists were booked in the cases. The applicants’ counsel submitted that police had with a mala fide intention implicated the applicants due to political rivalry with the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.

They submitted that the applicants being law-abiding citizens were ready to appear before the trial court; however, apprehending their imminent arrest and humiliation at the hands of the local police, they approached the court to seek legal shelter.

The court was informed that one of the applicants, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, had already appeared before the trial court and obtained protective bail. They requested the court to grant them protective bail to enable them to appear before the trial court.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh, after the preliminary hearing of the applications, granted protective bail to the applicants with a surety of Rs30,000 each. The court observed that orders of the protective bail shall cease to have its effect on June 2 or upon surrender of the applicants before the trial court, whichever is earlier.

Meanwhile, the court also issued notices to the prosecutor general and others on a petition of PTI lawmaker Bilal Ghaffar against harassment. The petitioner submitted that police were conducting raids on his house for unlawfully arresting him in the false cases. He sought protection against harassment and requested the court to provide details of cases if any against them.

Pre-arrest bail for Zaidi

The administrative judge of anti-terrorism courts on Friday granted pre-arrest bail to the president of the PTI Sindh chapter, Ali Zaidi, in two cases pertaining to alleged rioting in Karachi's Numaish area.

Zaidi, along with other leaders and workers of the party, has been booked in two cases filed at the Ferozabad and Soldier Bazar police stations.

The cases have been filed under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapons), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 324 (attempt to murder), 435 (mischief and thereby causing loss or damage), 504 (criminal intimidation), and other sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

The former federal minister, through his counsel, Barrister Omer Soomro, filed an application with the ATCs’ administrative judge, seeking bail before arrest in both cases. After the preliminary hearing, the judge approved the bail of the PTI leader subject to submission of a Rs100,000 surety in each case. The court directed Zaidi to join the investigation and directed the investigation officers to turn up before it along with the case record on the next hearing set for June 8.

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