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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday granted post-arrest bail to the President of Awami Muslim League (AML), Sheikh Rashid, in a case related to murder plot allegations against former president Asif Ali Zardari.

A single bench of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the petition moved by Rashid through advocates, Salman Akram Raja and Sardar Abdul Raziq Khan. The bench accepted the bail plea of the former interior minister against the submission of a surety bond of Rs50,000. Later in the evening, Rashid was released from Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi.

The Islamabad police had arrested the former interior minister on February 2, after which the court had granted the police his two-day physical remand. A similar case was filed against him in Murree on February 3.

Justice Kayani noted in its written verdict, “Even otherwise, it is settled law that the ultimate conviction and incarceration of a guilty person can repair the wrong caused by a mistaken relief of interim bail granted to him, but no satisfactory reparation can be offered to an innocent man for his unjustified incarceration at any stage of the case as held in PLD 1972 SC 81 (Manzoor Ahmed and four others vs The State), therefore, the concept of liberty of a person is a precious right, which has been guaranteed under the Constitution 1973.”

Through the petition, Rashid applied for post-arrest bail in case FIR No94/2023, dated 01.02.2023, under Sections 120-B, 153A, 505 PPC, PS Aabpara, Islamabad. He stated that the instant FIR was lodged on the complaint of Raja Inayatur Rehman saying that the petitioner accused in an interview has referred to conspiracy, whereby, he alleged that Zardari has engaged the services of terrorists in order to eliminate Imran Khan.

The counsel for the petitioner contended that the petitioner is innocent and has falsely been implicated in this case, even offence under Sections 120-B and 153A are bailable, whereas, the offence under Section 505 PPC requires further probe and the allegation should have been proved during the course of investigation which itself is a ground of further inquiry.

The Advocate General opposed the instant post-arrest bail on the ground that the language used by the petitioner, especially when he has remained parliamentarian for more than eight times as well as interior minister, who has to conduct himself in a manner that such kind of false and frivolous allegations should not be levelled, hence he is not entitled for concession of post-arrest bail.

The IHC bench stated that the tentative assessment of record reflects that Section 153A PPC deals with to promote enmity between different groups or to create hatred or ill-will among different entities. It added, “Similarly the offence under Section 120-B PPC deals with the criminal conspiracy. However, both the offences are bailable, as such there is no direct information available to demonstrate that these offences have been constituted, as such this is mere statement, which has been transmitted on Bol News Channel.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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