Pak Opposition leader Fawad Chaudhry sent on two-day physical remand in sedition case

NewsDrum Desk
28 Jan 2023

Islamabad, Jan 28 (PTI) A court in Islamabad on Saturday sent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party's senior leader Fawad Chaudhry on a two-day physical remand in a case related to alleged incitement of violence against a constitutional institution, according to media reports.

The decision came a day after a similar plea was struck down, the Dawn newspaper reported.

Chaudhry, 52, a close aide of PTI party chief and former prime minister Imran Khan, was taken into custody on Wednesday for allegedly “inciting violence against a constitutional institution” — the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

A first information report (FIR) against him was registered at Islamabad’s Kohsar police station on a complaint of ECP Secretary Umar Hameed.

Chaudhry, a former federal minister for information and broadcasting, is facing sedition charges for publicly “threatening” the members of the ECP.

Chaudhry was brought to court on Saturday with a black cloth covering his head on the directives issued by Additional Sessions Judge Tahir Mehmood Khan who said the appearance of a suspect in the court was mandatory in cases where investigators seek a physical remand.

The court had earlier reserved its judgement after asking police to produce Chaudhry in court.

Earlier, a court had rejected the police’s plea for an extension in his physical remand and sent Chaudhry on a 14-day judicial remand to Adiala Jail.

Following the earlier order to send the PTI leader on judicial remand, police filed an appeal against the decision and requested that the decision of Judicial Magistrate Waqas Ahmed Raja be annulled and further physical remand of Chaudhry be granted.

The prosecutor stated that the police had to conduct photogrammetry tests and recoveries and added that the police only had a one-day remand and could not complete the investigation, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

As the PTI leader was brought to the court, his defence attorney Babar Awan questioned the merits of the case and insisted his client did not say anything that would pose a security risk to the country, Geo News reported.

In the order issued on Saturday, the judicial magistrate ordered the Islamabad Police to produce the former federal information minister before his court on January 30 upon the expiry of his remand.

He was presented before the court on Friday after the expiry of his physical remand, however, the prosecution’s request for an extension was turned down by Judicial Magistrate Raja. Later, the decision was overturned by the session court.

During the hearing, Awan termed the "tactics" being used against Chaudhry as "state's terrorism" and noted that the session judge has limited powers to review a court decision.

As the prosecution repeatedly said that it wants a photogrammetric test, Awan said: “I can assure you that Chaudhry is real, not fake.” Meanwhile, PTI Chairman Imran Khan lashed out at the authorities and said that the manner in which Chaudhry was presented before the court was proof of the government’s “vindictiveness".

Referring to the current government and its leaders as “pharaohs”, Khan also underscored the treatment meted out to PTI leaders Azam Swati and Shahbaz Gill as proof that the country was in disarray. PTI NSA AKJ NSA

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