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Islamabad court rejects police request for 7-day extension in Shahbaz Gill's physical remand


May 21, 2006
United States

Islamabad court rejects police request for 7-day extension in Shahbaz Gill's physical remand

Tahir Naseer Published August 24, 2022 Updated about an hour ago

An Islamabad district and sessions court rejected on Wednesday a request by the capital police for yet another extension of seven days in the physical remand of PTI leader Shahbaz Gill, who has been booked and arrested on charges of sedition and inciting mutiny in the army following his controversial remarks on ARY News.
The judgement comes as the two-day period of Gill's remand — initially approved last Wednesday — expired, much later than the scheduled date as the court concluded at previous hearings that the remand began late and as such remained incomplete.
The judgement was issued by Judicial Magistrate Malik Aman, who sent Gill on judicial remand.
According to the court order, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the completion of every investigation without unnecessary delay was the requirement of every law and the police were bound to submit the investigation report in court.
"If the investigation is not completed in the stipulated period of 14 days from the date of recording of the FIR then the officer-in-charge of the police station, within 3 days of the expiration of such period, forward to magistrate through the prosecutor an interim report stating therein the investigation till that extent."
It stated that in Gill's case, despite the lapse of 15 days, neither the interim nor the complete report was presented by the prosecution.
"Physical remand cannot be granted repeatedly, for the same purpose, without any positive progress," it ruled, sending Gill to the judicial lock up.
The magistrate instructed the police to produce him before the court on September 7.

The hearing​

At the commencement of the hearing, Gill's lawyer, Faisal Chaudhry, told the court that he intended to get a power of attorney signed today.
The judge, however, remarked that the power of attorney had been signed earlier.
He then asked the lawyer whether Gill had arrived in court.
To that, Chaudhry replied in the negative and pointed out that the suspect was yet to reach even when it was past his scheduled time of arrival at 1pm.
He asked the court whether he should start his arguments.
The judge, however, pointed out that before the arguments it would have to be seen what was written by the investigating officer in the case file. "The file is not here yet," he said.
Later, police produced Gill before the court and sought another seven days of his custody.
Presenting his arguments for the remand's extension, Special Prosecutor Raja Rizwan Abbasi pointed out that in a separate but related case registered against Gill on charges of possessing unlicensed weapons, the PTI leader's judicial remand had been sought.
He maintained that police were "interrogating the suspect everyday" and contended that police needed his custody to conduct a polygraph test.
"Not a second was wasted during the investigation against Shahbaz Gill," he said, adding that however, the probe was yet to be completed.
The special prosecutor informed the court that during the 48-hour period of Gill's physical remand, his room at the Parliament Lodges was searched and phones and four universal serial buses (USBs) were investigated.
But, he added, "we still want answers to some questions".
Prosecutor Abbasi said the "main mobile phone" in Gill's use was yet to be seized and his polygraph test was to be conducted in Lahore.
At that, the judge inquired whether the request for a polygraph test was not made during Gill's last remand.
The prosecutor clarified that the request was not made during the last remand period but the one that was suspended prior to that.
The judge then observed that an August 22 court order in the case mentioned that the polygraph test would be conducted in Islamabad.
The prosecutor general explained that the order stated that the test might be conducted in the capital. "If it could be carried out in Islamabad, we would get it done here," he said.
He continued that some progress had been made in the investigation but the probe was yet to be completed. "We have to recover some things and interrogate the suspect."
The special prosecutor contended that a suspect's remand could be approved for up to 15 days, adding that progress made during the two-day remand was there for everyone to see. Even a case was registered during this period, he highlighted.
Furthermore, the investigating officer had to determine whether the probe had been completed, he said, contending the request for the extension in the remand was not "illegal".

Will file application for Gill's bail, says lawyer​

Speaking to the media after the verdict, Gill's lawyer, Faisal Chaudhry, said the PTI leader's legal team was going to immediately file a bail application for his release and that the case against him was based on lies.
He claimed that the remarks attributed to Gill in the first information report were not his comments made on ARY News.
Chaudhry added that he would also challenge in the Supreme Court (SC) the Islamabad High Court's order that rejected Gill's plea against his continued remand.
"We, as a society, need to discourage custodial torture," he stressed.
"I accept it was a mistake that people didn't stand up for these issues in the past ... but if no one stood up in the past, it doesn't mean you don't stand up today as well," he said.
Chaudhry said the government should also get the custodial torture bill approved, which has been pending with a standing committee for the benefit of the common folk and to prevent violence.
He added that he would ensure that the probe into Gill's alleged torture was completed and called for constituting a commission to investigate the claims.
The commission, he said, should comprise sitting high court or SC judges instead of a retired judge since the matter was of "public interest at large".
Meanwhile, questioned by a reporter on the nature of his alleged sexual assault while he was being led by police outside of the court, Gill claimed it was "absolutely right". "I was talking about wires being connected to and my t****s and p***s being electrocuted," he elaborated.
Gill said the alleged torture was carried out so he would give statements against "someone".

The saga of Gill's remand​

Gill was arrested on August 9 under Sections 34 (common intention), 109 (abetment), 120 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 121 (waging war against state), 124-A (sedition), 131 (abetting mutiny, or attempt to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty), 153 (provoking to cause riot), 505 (statement conducing to public mischief) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Later, Dawn reported that Section 201 of the PPC — causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender — was added to the FIR.
A day after his arrest, an Islamabad district and sessions court had granted police a two-day physical remand of the PTI leader.
Two days later, police had sought an extension in the remand but the court had turned down the request and sent Gill on a judicial remand instead.
Police had then filed a review petition against the rejection of their application the same day. However, this appeal was also rejected and subsequently, Islamabad Advocate General Jahangir Khan Jadoon moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for Gill's physical remand.
On August 16, the IHC had referred the matter back to the trial court and later that day, a judicial magistrate had approved Gill's two-day physical remand in police custody.
However, it was only two hours after the court's ruling that Islamabad police were able to take Gill's custody.
According to a Dawn report, in a bid to thwart Gill's handover to capital police, arrangements were made to move the PTI leader to Rawalpindi District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital after he complained of breathing trouble, even though jail authorities were convinced that they had the facilities to treat him.
When he was eventually handed over to Islamabad police late night that day, the PTI leader was shifted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences owing to his health complaints.
The development led to a delay in the completion of Gill's physical remand, with the trial court concluding on Friday last week that the remand time began at 7:15am that day, when the PTI leader was handed over to police by hospital authorities, and not on Wednesday.
At the time, the court had suspended the handing over of Gill to police for the completion of his two-day physical remand and directed Islamabad police to shift him to the Pims for a medical examination on complaints of his ill health.
When Gill was again produced before the court on Monday, it had ruled: "The time for physical remand would start when the custody of accused would be given to investigation officer for interrogation and recovery and by no stretch of imagination the time spent by accused in hospital can be considered as a time of physical remand.”
It had fixed the time of commencement for the 48 hours at 1pm on Monday and ordered Gill to be produced in court on Wednesday (today) at, or before, 1pm.
Yesterday, the IHC upheld the additional district and sessions judge’s order to hand over Gill’s custody to Islamabad police, with Acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq observing that the evidence placed before the additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) led to the conclusion that another two-day police remand was required.
Subsequently, the IHC ruled that “no interference was required in the order of the revisional court [ADSJ]”.
Authorities have maintained that the ongoing investigation against Gill and collection of evidence cannot be completed without an extension of his remand in police custody.
Meanwhile, PTI leaders have alleged that Gill has been subjected to torture and abuse in police custody and contended the demand for Gill's physical remand based on these claims.
On Tuesday, Gill also accused police of physically and mentally torturing him and orchestrating a "fake medical checkup" when his "body was full of bruises". He has also alleged that he was stripped and thrown into a room where he was beaten and kicked for three nights after his arrest on August 9.
He levelled these accusations in front of a committee formed by the Islamabad police chief upon the IHC’s directives to probe his claims of torture during the custody.
Gill claimed no doctor at Pims checked him.
In a related development, another case has been registered against Gill at the Secretariat police station after two weapons were recovered from his room at the Parliament Lodges.

The controversy​

On August 9, the same day when Gill was arresred, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) had issued a show-cause notice to ARY News for airing comments from Gill, that it said were “highly hateful and seditious” remarks tantamount to “incite armed forces towards revolt”.
The notice went on to say that Gill was invited via a telephonic call for his comments and during his talk with the channel, Gill had alleged that the government was trying to provoke the lower and middle tier of the army against the PTI, saying the families of such “rank and file” support Imran Khan and his party “which is fuelling rage within the government”.
He had also alleged that the “strategic media cell” of the ruling PML-N was spreading false information and fake news to create divisions between PTI chief Imran Khan and the armed forces.
Gill had said the government leaders, including Javed Latif, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and former National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq, had lambasted the army in the past “and they were at the government positions now”.
“The statement made by the guest on ARY News is a violation of Article 19 of the Constitution as well as Pemra laws. Airing of such content on your news channel shows either weak editorial control on the content or the licensee is intentionally indulged in providing its platform to such individuals who intend to spread malice and hatred against state institutions for their vested interests,” the watchdog stated.
“Dr Gill tried to malign the federal government, claiming the government functionaries are spearheading a campaign through social media cell for propagating anti-army narrative,” the authority said.

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