Court sends Fawad on 14-day judicial remand

PTI leader Farrukh Habib, others booked for ‘dacoity’

Saqib Bashir January 27, 2023
Photo: Screengrab


A district and sessions court on Friday sent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry to Adiala Jail on a 14-day judicial remand in a case pertaining to "inciting violence against a constitutional institution".

The PTI leader was arrested from Lahore on Wednesday on charges of sedition for "threatening" the chief election commissioner (CEC) and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Following this, an Islamabad court had handed Fawad over to the police on a two-day physical remand.

As the remand ended on Friday, he was produced before the court of Judicial Magistrate Waqas Ahmed Raja amid tight security.

During the proceedings, the police requested the court for a seven-day extension in the physical remand of the former minister.

The prosecutor, who is also the commission's lawyer in the case, reading the text of the first information report (FIR) registered against the PTI leader, highlighted the language used against the CEC and the caretaker Punjab chief minister.

He said that they matched the voice of the suspect with Fawad’s and a photogrammetry test was to be conducted.

"More recoveries are still to be made," he said, seeking further physical remand of the PTI leader. "The accused has also admitted to the speech before the court at the previous hearing," the ECP's lawyer added.

The prosecution remarked that Fawad might be a senior politician but "no one is above the law", adding that it was necessary to search his house and recover his laptop and mobile.

The PTI leader's counsel Advocate Babar Awan said, "Fawad Chaudhary is not a terrorist. The Election Commission has made itself a government while its job is to conduct elections."

He questioned, "If the Election Commission is the plaintiff in a case against me, how can I ask them for justice in the elections?"

Fawad apprised the court that his words "are not just his own but they are that of the party and communicate the PTI's stance".

He also produced the CCTV footage before the court, saying that his arrest was "illegal".

"I was neither arrested by the Lahore nor the Islamabad police," he claimed, alluding that the ruling coalition and the establishment were behind his arrest.
His lawyer added that Fawad had been "kidnapped".

The PTI leader maintained that he filed for Rs500 million in damages against the ECP and a request for the return of his mobile phone from the police.

Subsequently, the court approved Fawad's request barring the police from handcuffing him in the courtroom.

The court also rejected the plea for an extension in his physical remand and sent Fawad on a 14-day judicial remand to Adiala Jail.

Meanwhile, a bail application was filed by Fawad, saying that the case against him was based on "ulterior motives".

Habib, others booked

Further, PTI leader Farrukh Habib and party workers were booked for attempting to stop the police convoy transporting Fawad to Islamabad from Lahore on Wednesday.

The PTI workers were charged with “dacoity” among other charges in an FIR, a copy of which was available with The Express Tribune, registered at the Ferozewala police station on the complaint of SHO Adeel Shaukat of the Islamabad police.


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