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ISLAMABAD: A local court on Saturday granted another two-day physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry in a case over alleged incitement to violence against a constitutional institution.

The Judicial Magistrate, Waqas Ahmed Raja, while announcing his reserved judgment, again handed the PTI leader into police custody for two days and issued directives to police to produce the suspect before it after two days.

It is pertinent to be mentioned here that Chaudhry was arrested from Lahore on January 25.

The city police on January 25 registered a case against the PTI leader at Kohsar police station on the complaint of Secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Umar Hameed Khan.

The first information report (FIR) was registered under sections 153-A (promotion of enmity between groups), 506 (criminal intimidation), 505 (statement conducing to public mischief), and 124-A (sedition) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

The same court on Friday rejected police request for extension of physical remand and sent him to jail on 14-day judicial remand.

However, police challenged the verdict and filed a review petition before additional Session Judge Tahir Mehmood Khan, seeking to declare the verdict of judicial magistrate Waqas Ahmed Raja null and void and extend the physical remand of the suspect.

The judge, Tahir Mehmood Khan, approved police’s review petition and directed police to produce Chaudhry before Judicial Magistrate.

Police produced the PTI leader before judicial magistrate Waqas Ahmed Raja for extension in his physical remand. Police covered the head of Chaudhry with a black cloth on his way to court.

During the hearing, the judge said that according to police report they have taken into custody the mobile phone of the suspect and sent it Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for forensic analysis. Faisal Chaudhry, counsel of the accused requested the court to issued directions for blocking of the mobile phone SIM of his client. The court will make the decision as per law, the judge told the defence counsel.

Baber Awan, defence counsel while arguing before the court said that the power to grant physical remand and judicial remand is with magistrate. The power was earlier violated by a female judge and today another judge violated it, he said, adding today’s verdict of session judge regarding approval of police review petition is completely illegal.

He said that the sessions’ judge does not have the power to ask the magistrate to review the decision on physical remand. Magistrate have no power to review his own decision, he said, adding that in PTI leader Shahbaz Gill case magistrate had rejected police plea of review of physical remand. He requested the court to reject police request to review its decision and extend physical remand of his client.

ECP counsel Saad Hassan, while arguing before the court, said that the Islamabad High Court (IHC)’s decision is there in Shahbaz Gill regarding review of physical remand. According to the IHC’s verdict the judgment regarding physical remand can be reviewed, he said.

He told the court that photogrammetric test of the accused is mandatory for completion of investigation. Prosecution have to prove its case without any doubt, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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