ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi prayed before the Supreme Court to grant him post-arrest bail in the cypher case.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on November 8 had dismissed the former foreign minister’s bail plea. Qureshi, on Monday, filed an appeal against the IHC’s order under Article 185(3) of the constitution through advocate Syed Muhammad Ali Bukhari.
Bukhari submitted that the impugned order has failed to take into consideration that the liberty of the petitioner is not being protected as guaranteed by the constitution.
The impugned order is arbitrary, capricious, contradictory, and passed in undue haste on the part of the courts below. He said that the petitioner is ready to furnish reasonable surety to the satisfaction of this court and also undertakes not to abscond or tamper with the prosecution witnesses.
The IHC has erroneously observed that the case in hand is a case of death and (14) years to the exclusion of Section 5 (3) (b) where maximum liability is a fine or two years’ imprisonment. It is only after the recording of the evidence that it can be ascertained as to which punishment, if at all, is attracted to the instant case.
The entire prosecution’s argument is premised on the retention of the cypher, but it is pertinent to highlight that the petitioner’s copy was returned and the petitioner never made an unlawful statement or use of the cypher which would warrant an offence under the Official Secrets Act.
The investigating agency has, without due consideration, implicated the petitioner in a matter that, by no reasonable standard, establishes any wrongdoing on his part. To establish an offence under the Official Secrets Act, it is not sufficient merely to level accusations; there must also be concrete evidence of the “actusreus”, a fundamental element to the offence.
The petitioner neither committed the “actusreus” nor harboured the requisite “mens rea” for the alleged offences, rendering him entirely innocent of any wrongdoing or criminal activity.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023