ISLAMABAD: The district and sessions court rejected on Friday the police’s plea for further physical remand of PTI leader Shahbaz Gill, who was presented in front of the court after completion of two-day physical remand by the police, and sent the accused to Adiala Jail for judicial remand in a case pertaining to sedition.
“I did not make any confession,” Gill, who was arrested by the Islamabad Police on Tuesday on charges of sedition and inciting the public against the state institutions, told reporters outside the court.
Later the police filed a review petition in the court to get the physical remand of the PTI leader.
The court rejected the review petition filed against the decision regarding the extension of Gill’s physical remand, saying that the verdict was valid.
“The court’s decision to send Shehbaz Gill on judicial remand was right,” the court observed while rejecting the review petition.
Police’s demand for four to five days of remand came when Faisal Chaudhry, Gill’s lawyer, contended the appearance of the Islamabad Advocate General Jehangir Jadoon in the court of Duty Magistrate West Umar Shabir. The judge ordered unnecessary people to leave the courtroom after expressing concern over the rush.
The PTI leader was brought under tight security as the court resumed the hearing on the case.
The court on Wednesday had granted police a two-day remand of Gill after hearing the latter’s plea for a 14-day remand to recover an “important” mobile phone from the accused and the paper that was apparently read out in the TV programme. They had also contended to investigate on whose orders the PTI leader purportedly issued statements against the state institutions.
Presiding judge Bashir had also told the investigation officer to get the accused medically examined.
The investigation officer said that they have acquired the CD of the new programme, where Gill apparently incited people through his remarks. They claimed that mobile was left in Gill’s vehicle and another was with the PTI leader.
“It was 4pm at that time (Tuesday, Muharram 10) and there was no signal,” Gill said and maintained that whatever he did was according to law and Constitution.
But, police maintained that they want to do more investigation and recover things.
Gill allowed meeting legal team
The court allowed the legal team to meet Gill. The PTI leader’s handcuffs were opened at the request of lawyers.
“I am time and again being asked that Imran Khan had asked me [to apparently comment on news channel],” he said after taking the rostrum. “I say I have not given any such statement.”
Gill claimed that he was tortured during the physical remand, not allowed to sleep, and not kept at the Kohsar Police Station.
“I am continuously being tortured and the medical test was also not conducted,” he said and lifted his cloth to show his waist where he was tortured.
“I cannot even think about speaking such things about our army,” Gill said.
The transcript of the programme was read out before the court.
The IO maintained that ARY programme CD matched the voice, however, more investigation and tests are needed to ascertain the voice in the recording. The advocate general contended that the transcript did not confirm the person behind it while stressing the need for a polygraphic test (lie detector test) of the accused.
He was not giving access to the mobile phone and the laptop, he said and called for further remand.
Prosecutors said that the purpose of the remand was to collect evidence, adding that in the first remand they wanted to ascertain the validity of the programme transcript. But, they wanted to know the producer and demanded a polygraphic test from Punjab.
“Paid journalists are saying that national anthem was played during the investigation and media was being fed that my client has become approver,” Gill’s lawyer said while commenting on media reports.
Release wife of Shahbaz Gill’s driver, court orders
A court in the federal capital gave orders for the release of Saira Bibi, wife of Shahbaz Gill’s driver Izhar, after accepting her bail petition.
Judicial Magistrate Salman Badar, the presiding judge, approved the bail after the submission of surety bonds worth Rs30,000. “Will release Saira Bibi after submitting the surety bonds today,” lawyer Faisal Chaudhry said.
Islamabad police on Thursday arrested Izhar’s wife along with another individual on charges of rioting, assaulting a police party and after raiding a house where Gill’s driver was staying.
Izhar has also been nominated in the first information report.
This came two days after the arrest of Gill on charges of sedition and inciting the public against the state institutions, following his controversial remarks about the army on ARY News. Izhar was with Gill at the time of his arrest at Banigala Chowk in Islamabad and claimed that he had been subjected to violence during the episode.
Video of speaking about the ordeal went viral on social media, prompting condemnation from the PTI.
Govt defends Gill’s arrest
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had defended the Islamabad police’s Tuesday action against Gill by describing it in accordance with the law.
“A first information report had been registered against the PTI leader on behalf of the state,” he, alongside Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, said on Muharram 10 in a press conference
The interior minister 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 an offence punishable with imprisonment), 121 (waging war against the 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 had said.
The PTI leader’s arrest had come after his “controversial” remarks on the ARY News channel where he was invited via a telephone call for his comments on the political situation.
Party chief Imran Khan had 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.