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LAHORE: A division bench of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday allowed post-arrest bail to Khadija Shah grand daughter of former army chief in the Corps Commander House and Askari Tower attack cases.

The bench observed that the petitioner was not nominated in both FIRs as one of the protesters leading the protest rally of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

The bench headed by Justice Aalia Neelum, observed that the trial had not yet commenced and a speedy trial was the suspect’s right and added a citizen must be zealously safeguarded by the courts.

The bench also noted that the investigating officer, during the investigation, did not recover any material to connect the petitioner with the incident of putting Corps Commander House and Askari Tower on fire.

The bench said no prosecution witness alleged that the petitioner was among one of the protestors who set the buildings on fire or she was leading the protest.

The bench said a request for CCTV footage was made to the safe city authority, but the reports are not available yet. The bench observed that reports are still awaited to prove an allegation of the prosecution that the petitioner posted tweets to entice and motivate public against the Pakistan Army, state institutions, and anti-state activities, leading to a devastating impact on the country.

The bench said the petitioner admitted that one controversial tweet was uploaded and subsequently deleted through her twitter account. The petitioner in her subsequent tweet asked for an apology, the bench added.

The bench observed that the state is like a mother and one should be given a chance if he/she commits a mistake and apologizes.

In these circumstances, the bench said prima facie prosecution case against the petitioner falls under the ambit of further inquiry.

The bench remarked that the trial court would see the vicarious liability of the petitioner, as alleged by the prosecution, after recording the evidence.

The bench said the petitioner was behind bars since her arrest on May 25 and her further incarceration would not serve any useful purpose for the prosecution.

During the hearing of the bail petitions, the police had submitted a report before the bench saying only two cases had been registered against Khadija Shah.

Sarwar Road police had registered FIR against several leaders and hundreds of workers of the PTI for attacking the Corps Commander House during the May 9 riots.

The FIR of the attack on Askari Tower, Liberty Roundabout was registered by Gulberg police.

The police initially registered the cases under the charges of terrorism, murder, attempted murder and damaging public and private property.

Later it added PPC section 121 for new charges of waging or attempting to wage a war or abetting in waging of war against Pakistan, section 131, abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty and rioting under section 146.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Parvez Oct 19, 2023 12:03pm
Let's see if the court orders are followed...
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