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PTI leader Shahbaz Gill sent on two-day physical remand

Journalists barred from entering courtroom; heavy contingent of police deployed
Updated 10 Aug, 2022 04:05pm

District Sessions Court nay Shahbaz Gill ko 2 roza jismani remand par police katy hawaly kar diya

<p>Police brings PTI leader Shahbaz Gill to the district and sessions court on Wednesday. Screengrab</p>

Police brings PTI leader Shahbaz Gill to the district and sessions court on Wednesday. Screengrab

ISLAMABAD: The district and sessions court sent PTI leader Shahbaz Gill, who was arrested by the Islamabad Police the other day on charges of sedition and inciting the public against the state institutions, on two-day physical remand of police on Wednesday.

Duty Magistrate West Umar Shabir, the presiding judge, had earlier reserved its verdict after hearing arguments from both sides on the police’s plea for a 14-day remand of the PTI leader in a case pertaining to sedition.

A group of police officers from the Kohsar Police Station had brought hand-cuffed Gill, who is chief of staff of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, to the court.

Police maintained that they wanted to recover an “important” mobile phone from the accused and the paper that was apparently read out in the TV programme. They also contended to investigate on whose orders the PTI leader purportedly issued statements against the state institutions.

Faisal Chaudhry, Gill’s lawyer, objected police’s plea for the physical remand of his client. “He [Gill] did not make any such statements that would harm state institutions,” he said.

Journalists barred from entering courtroom

Journalists were barred from entering the courtroom. A heavy contingent of police was deployed in the court.

“Why media persons were not allowed in the courtroom,” the court asked the SP security.

The SP replied that media officials’ entry was banned in “the light of court orders”.

“We have not imposed any ban on media,” Shabir said, “even in the open court, we had told the accused person’s lawyer that we have not enforced any ban.”

Saqib Bashir, the High Court Journalists Association president, said he was coming from the sessions’ judge’s office and it also said the above-mentioned thing. But, Bashir added that police stopped journalists from entering the courtroom by using the judge’s name.

He urged the court to issue orders for future hearings so that they were not stopped from entering the courtroom.

“No ban was imposed by us before and there won’t be any in future,” the magistrate said.

Investigation officer told to get accused medically examined: court

“Per record, there are grounds for believing that accusation against the accused is well founded; the investigation is yet to be completed; the recovery of alleged mobile phone is to be effected and body of accused is also necessary for voice matching through forensic examination with the voice already recorded in the recovered USB, which is available in the police file,” said the written order.

Hence, the court granted two days of physical remand. “Accused be produced again on August 12, 2022. The IO [investigation officer] is directed to get the accused medically examined.”

Never spoke against institutions: Gill

Shahbaz Gill upon his arrival at the court in an informal chat with reporters said that he has never spoken against institutions.

“This is the statement of a patriotic person. A statement of the love of the country’s army,” Gill said as the PTI supporters chanted slogans in his support.

“Absolutely not,” he replied to a query if tried to incite the people. “I have only called on officers, who are involved in wrongdoing, in the strategic media cell. Bureaucratic officials.”

‘Inciting public against the state institutions’

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, along with Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb in a press conference on Tuesday, said that Gill was arrested by the Islamabad police “in accordance with the law” for sedition and inciting the public against the state institutions.

“A first information report had been registered against the PTI leader on behalf of the state,” he told reporters after updating them on the security for Muharram processions.

Sanaullah had said that a case 691/22 was registered against Gill in the Kohsar police station at Magistrate Ghulam Murtaza Chandio’s complaint under sections 34 (common intention), 109 (abetment), 120 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 121 (waging war against state), 124-A (sedition), 131 (abetting mutiny, or attempt to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty), 153 (provoking to cause riot), 505 (statement conducing to public mischief) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

“I assure you, he will be treated in accordance with the law. Gill would be produced before the court, and a fair and transparent investigation would be conducted against him,” Sanaullah said.

Gill arrested after comments on TV

The Islamabad Police arrested Gill on Tuesday a day after his “remarks” on a news channel. The PTI leader claimed that their leader was abducted rather than arrested.

Gill has been arrested for making statements against state institutions and inciting the people to rebel. A case was registered against him at the Banigala police station.

Party chief Imran Khan said it was the abduction and not an arrest.

“Can such shameful acts take place in any democracy? Political workers are treated as enemies. And all to make us accept a foreign-backed government of crooks,” he tweeted.

The official PTI account also shared the account of the individual driving Gill’s car when he was taken into custody.

“Around 15-20 vehicles with tinted glasses and without number plates stopped us,” he said. They were armed with Kalashnikovs and broke the windows of our car, he continued. The man said that the individuals didn’t show any documents and took Gill into custody. “They treated us like terrorists. They kicked Gill sb and cuffed him like he was a murderer.”

PEMRA warning

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulation Authority has warned all the satellite TV channels, specifically news and current affairs of legal action for either running a “propaganda” campaign or spreading “misinformation and disinformation” against the state institutions.

The directives were issued in continuation to the earlier ones which were issued by the authority from time to time for stopping the “propaganda, misinformation and disinformation” against the state institutions.

“A trend had been observed on satellite TV channels wherein some of their news/programme anchors, guests/analysts were indulged in spreading misinformation and disinformation against the state institutions without any cogent justification,” it said in a statement.

“Such trend on channels not only tantamount to casting aspersions against state institutions, but also a planned propaganda campaign against the state institutions,” it said.

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Rana Sanaullah

shahbaz gill

district and session court

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