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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), Wednesday, turned down Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Irfan Nawaz Memon’s unconditional apology and barred him from going abroad.

A single bench of Justice Babar Sattar also reserved his verdict in contempt of court case against DC Islamabad and others due to the prolonged detention of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shehryar Khan Afridi and Shandana Gulzar under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance. He said that the reserved judgment would be announced in the next week.

Justice Sattar asked Irfan Memon to submit his response to another show-cause notice issued to him by Monday regarding the matter related to his non-appearance before the court on February 20, while he also turned down his request to transfer the contempt of court case to another bench.

During the hearing, SSP Operations Zafar and SP Farooq Buttar appeared before the court.

Memon, who was present during the hearing, said that he has not missed any of the 18 hearings in the case and that he leaves himself at the court’s mercy. Expressing his annoyance over the absence of DC on the last hearing, Justice Sattar said do you think this is a joke; you are being tried in contempt of court [case]. You issued 69 MPO orders for 970 days. He added that this case was supposed to be completed yesterday (February 20), but it could not be done because of you. Memon replied that he could not even think of disobeying the court’s order.

Justice Sattar asked Memon if benches would now be formed as per his choice when he urged the transfer of the contempt case to another bench. Memon’s lawyer, Raja Rizwan Abbasi said that the DC’s non-appearance was not an obstacle to justice and his client had no intention of undermining the court’s authority. He requested the court to dismiss the contempt of court case. Abbasi said that on August 5, Shehryar Afridi’s party leader was arrested and the situation of May 9 is also in front of everyone. He added that the Intelligence Bureau informed the capital’s administration about the worsening law and order situation and agitation. He further argued that the district intelligence committee including representatives of all sensitive agencies expressed fear of attacks on government buildings, GHQ Chowk near F-9 Park in Islamabad. Abbasi added that there was no malice in issuing the MPO order by the district magistrate.

Justice Sattar said that on May 16, the first MPO order was quashed and MPO orders were issued even after show-cause notices were issued in the case. It stopped when the court removed their power to issue MPO orders, the IHC judge added.

Abbasi also presented the transcript of Shehryar Afridi’s inflammatory speeches before his arrest. He argued that the politician used threatening language and tried to provoke people with his words.

During the hearing, the SSP (Operations) Jameel Zafar’s lawyer Shah Khawar also argued the case.

Later, Justice Sattar directed him to submit the composition of the district intelligence committee and terms of reference. After the arguments, the SSP tendered an unconditional apology to the court.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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