IHC indicts Islamabad DC, 3 police officials for contempt over PTI leaders detention

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) building in Islamabad. — File
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) building in Islamabad. — File 

ISLAMABAD: Deputy Commissioner (DC) Irfan Nawaz Memon and the three police officials were indicted by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday in a contempt case related to the detention of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Shehryar Afridi and Shandana Gulzar under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance.

The officials are accused of misusing their authority. 

The police officials included Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jameel Zafar, Superintendent (SP) Farooq Buttar and Station House Officer (SHO) Nasir Manzoor.

On August 16, the IHC suspended the detention orders of the PTI leaders and ordered their immediate release.

Both leaders were held by law enforcement for their alleged involvement in the May 9 riots, which were triggered after the arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan earlier this year.

IHC Justice Babar Sattar heard the case today wherein DC Memon and SSP Zafar submitted their replies. Islamabad Advocate General Ayaz Shaukat also appeared before the court as prosecutor.

Shaukat offered an unconditional apology to the court on behalf of the accused. To this, Justice Sattar said that the “accused should spend some time in jail to understand the gravity of their actions”.

DC Memon and SSP Zafar pleaded not guilty to the charges and also apologised unconditionally to the court, however, Justice Sattar reminded them that this case carried a maximum sentence of six months of jail time.

IHC appointed Lawyer Qaiser Imam as prosecutor in the case.

Afridi was first arrested from his Islamabad residence under Section 3 of the MPO Ordinance, 1960, on May 16. Despite a release order, he was immediately rearrested under the same section on May 30.

The PTI leader was then granted bail by the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench on August 3. But his freedom was short-lived as Rawalpindi police once again took him into custody following his release from Adiala jail.

Following his arrest, the former minister’s lawyer filed a plea in the IHC, requesting his release as well as the revocation of the MPO order.

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