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IHC indicts Islamabad DC, 3 others for contempt pertaining to prolonged detention of PTI leaders

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday indicted capital Deputy Commissioner (DC) Irfan Nawaz Memon and three other officials for contempt in a case pertaining to the prolonged detention of PTI leaders Shehryar Afridi and Shandana Gulzar under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) ordinance.

On Thursday, Justice Babar Sattar presided over the hearing.

During this, the court also indicted Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) operations Jamil Zafar, Superintendent of Police (SP) Farooq Buttar, and Margalla Station House Officer (SHO) Nasir Manzoor.

In Thursday’s proceedings, DC Memon furnished an unconditional apology before the court and urged the court to not indict him.

The DC and the three other officers denied the charge after they were indicted, with SSP Zafar seeking time to defend himself.

Advocate General Ayaz Shaukat presented his arguments before the court against indicting the officials.

He urged the IHC to not indict them as the “officers have furnished an unconditional apology”.

“How can we not indict them? The matter of contempt of court was underway here yet you issued an MPO order,” Justice Sattar questioned.

Addressing the officials, Justice Sattar said, “If you are sentenced, you will be sent to jail at the most.

“It is a six-month sentence. You may also live in jail and see how those who you send to jail live there,” he remarked.

At this, the DC replied, “The aim of this [detention] order was not to violate the court order at all.” He then furnished an unconditional apology to the court, which was rejected.

Subsequently, DC Memon’s indictment order was read out aloud and he was indicted.

Then, the proceedings to indict SSP Zafar were initiated.

Justice Sattar read out aloud the SSP’s indictment order and he was charged with the offense, which he denied.

At this, the IHC asked him if he wished to defend himself, for which he sought more time from the court.

Similarly, SP Buttar and SHO Manzoor were also indicted who also denied the charges as well.

Following this, the hearing was adjourned.

A day earlier, the IHC had also issued show-cause notices to the Islamabad police chief, chief commissioner, and other police officials for “criminal contempt of court for abuse of authority to obstruct dispensation of justice and cause diversion to the course of justice”.

PTI leader Shehryar Afridi was first arrested on May 16 in Islamabad from his residence under Section 3 of the MPO Ordinance, 1960.

On May 30th, he was rearrested under the same section soon after his release from prison.

On July 31, Afridi was granted bail by the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench but was detained a few days later by the Rawalpindi police soon after his release from Adiala jail.

A petition was subsequently filed by his lawyer in the IHC calling for Afridi’s release and for the MPO order to be set aside.

On the other hand, Shandana Gulzar, another PTI leader was allegedly abducted by the Islamabad police on August 9.

A petition was later filed by Gulzar’s mother in the IHC on the grounds of illegal arrest and violation of Articles 4, 9, 10A, and 14 of the Constitution, calling for the police to produce her daughter in court.


Saman Siddiqui

Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.

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