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Sunday December 04, 2022

IHC gives Gill bail in sedition case

Interestingly, no main party leader came to receive Shahbaz Gill

September 16, 2022
Police officers escort the leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Doctor Shahbaz Gill after a hearing at district court, in Federal Capital. — Online/File
Police officers escort the leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Doctor Shahbaz Gill after a hearing at district court, in Federal Capital. — Online/File

ISLAMABAD: PTI leader and Imran Khan’s chief of staff Dr Shahbaz Gill finally got bail from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the sedition case on Thursday.

Interestingly, no main party leader came to receive him. However, a good number of local leaders from Rawalpindi welcomed him and showered him with rose petals. Gill was arrested last month after a treason case was filed against him for inciting mutiny in the Pakistan Army through his remarks during a private TV channel show. Gill had approached the IHC last Friday after failing to get bail from the trial court despite continuous efforts.

He had nominated Kohsar Police Station SHO, City Magistrate Ghulam Murtaza and others as parties to the plea, stating that he was arrested by the Kohsar police on August 9, reports Geo News.

During the case proceedings on Thursday, Chief Justice Athar Minallah directed the authorities to release Gill on bail after hearing arguments. The court directed Gill to submit Rs500,000 surety against his bail.

“No one should be deprived of the [right to be released] on bail until there is no solid evidence against them. There wouldn’t be any remedy if the same person turns out to be innocent later,” the court remarked, adding that an investigation must go on but with strong evidence brought to the fore.

Earlier, during the hearing, Justice Minallah remarked that the armed forces were not “weak that they would get affected” by irresponsible remarks made by someone. He, however, made it clear that “Gill’s irresponsible, inappropriate and derogatory remarks cannot be justified in any case.”

Meanwhile, Gill’s lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar reiterated that the case was based on ill intentions and was political victimisation. He claimed that Gill didn’t address the armed forces in his remark but it was targeted at the PMLN.

The PTI had been insistent in demanding the party leader’s bail, alleging that he was facing humiliation, torture and sexual abuse in police custody.

Multiple proceedings on pleas seeking and challenging Gill’s physical remand for interrogations were held with the defence contending that the politician wasn’t physically or mentally fit to undergo physical remand.

Separately, the Supreme Court has constituted a special bench to hear a petition seeking to investigate the alleged torture of PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s aide Dr Shahbaz Gill.

The three-member bench — headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan — will hear the petition. Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail are the other bench members.

The petition will be heard at 11am on Friday (today), reports Geo News. The PTI had alleged torture and sexual abuse of Gill during his physical remand at the Adiala Jail. The party claimed that Gill was tortured and abused during custody, demanding that the matter be probed. Gill was in custody following a sedition case filed against him last month for allegedly inciting mutiny within the military’s ranks.

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