IHC bars govt from taking action against Fawad, Shahbaz Gill

CJ Athar Minallah hears PTI’s petition challenging cases against party leaders

By: News Desk
Published: 02:07 PM, 2 May, 2022
IHC bars govt from taking action against Fawad, Shahbaz Gill
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The Islamabad High Court has restrained the administration from harassing and taking any action against PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry and Shahbaz Gill while issuing notices to the parties concerned in the Masjid-e-Nabvi desecration case, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. 

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued this order on Monday during hearing of petitions submitted to the court earlier today on behalf of former information minister Fawad Chaudhry and former advisor Gill who challenged the registration of cases against the PTI leaders including the duo, PTI Chief Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid and others in the alleged defilement of Masjid-e-Nabvi by them.

The court ordered the interior secretary to make sure that Mr Chaudhry would not be harassed and no action would be taken against him till next hearing of the case. 

The court also directed to send the copy of the court order to the National Assembly secretary and stopped police to take any action against Mr Chaudhry till May 9. 

Earlier, the petition was filed by PTI leader and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry. In his petition, he pleaded with the court to order the administration to stop harassing him and other party leaders who were implicated in the slogan raising incidents at Masjid-i-Nabvi in Medina during the visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his companions who went to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah. 

He requested the court to order the authorities to reveal on which grounds cases were registered against them. He beseeched the court to order the authorities to bring to the fore the record of cases against them across the country.

He pleaded with the court to restrain the authorities from violating their basic human rights. 

He also requested the court to void any action taken by the FIA or police after declaring it illegal. 

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah fixed the petition for hearing today despite the fact that it was official holiday on account of Eidul Fitr to be celebrated tomorrow. 

The petition was submitted by advocate Faisal Farid and advocate Ali Bukhari on behalf of Fawad Ch. 

In a related development, the IHC also barred the law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) from arresting former adviser to prime minister Shahbaz Gill upon his return from abroad.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued the orders.

Faisal Chaudhry Advocate, lawyer for Shahbaz Gill, appeared before the court on his behalf.

He adopted before the court that the day the Masjid-e-Nabvi incident occurred, Shahbaz Gill was in the United States.

He also told the court that 11 cases were registered against Shahbaz Gill and others in cities including Attock, Jhelum, Karachi, Jhang, Islamabad and Faisalabad.

“Where is Shahbaz Gill?” Chief Justice Athar Minallah inquired from the lawyer.

“He left for the United States on April 28 and will return on May 4,” said Faisal Chaudhry Advocate.

“He is being subjected to political revenge,” he added.

“The petitioner wants to appear before the court. I have pinned his return ticket to the petition. He is bound to return to Pakistan on May 4,” he stated.

Faisal Chaudhry also argued before the court that MNA Sheikh Rashid Shafique had been arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

“Is he [Rashid Shafique] still a member of the National Assembly?” inquired the IHC chief justice. “Has his resignation been accepted? If the resignation is not accepted, can he be arrested without the permission of the Speaker?”

Faisal Chaudhry Advocate told the IHC chief justice that the interior minister had threatened to make it difficult for Sheikh Rashid and his associates to come out of their houses.

“Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz had also said that Imran Khan is a ‘Fitnah’ that needs to be crushed,” he added.

“Elegance in politics is gone everywhere,” commented IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and asked Faisal Chaudhry to talk about the legal point.

“A seven-member bench of the court has ruled that more than one FIR cannot be registered in an incident,” stated Faisal Chaudhry.

Reporter: Ehtisham Kiyani