Court orders police to present Lal Masjid cleric

Published: February 2, 2016
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File photo of Maulana Abdul Aziz. PHOTO: AFP

File photo of Maulana Abdul Aziz. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: An Islamabad court refused on Monday to grant pre-arrest bail to Maulana Abdul Aziz or to exempt him from court appearances.

“At this stage, neither an interim bail can be granted nor an application for dispensation allowed,” said Additional District and Sessions Judge (East) Raja Asif Mehmood while directing the police to present the firebrand cleric in the court on Tuesday (today).

Aabpara police have booked Aziz in two cases. One case has been registered under the blasphemy sections of the Pakistan Penal Code while the other relates to criminal intimidation.

The court has directed the Aabpara SHO to bring Aziz to the court if he has not been arrested yet. In case the cleric is in custody, then a report should be submitted, the judge said. Aziz’s counsel Tariq Asad had submitted two pre-arrest bail petitions along with an application seeking exemption from personal appearance in the court. He also filed a bail application under Section 497 of the Criminal Procedure Code that allows bail in cases of non-bailable offences.

The court has decided to take up all the petitions together on February 2 (today) and ordered the petitioner to file fresh bail pleas in the cases.

Mehmood observed it was difficult to ascertain whether Aziz was under arrest in these FIRs or in “improper custody”.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2016.

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