Fawad’s plea to hear scattered cases via video link referred to division bench

Former PTI minister also requests LHC to direct Punjab IG to refrain from arresting him in any additional cases

Rana Yasif May 23, 2024
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry ran back inside the court's premises to evade arrest. SCREENGRAB


Lahore High Court’s Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan has referred the plea of former PTI federal minister Fawad Chaudhry to a division bench. Chaudhry is seeking directions for trial court judges to hear his scattered cases through video link.

The petitioner, Fawad Chaudhry, also requested the court to direct the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab, Dr Usman Anwar, to refrain from arresting him in any additional cases. Chaudhry seeks permission to file pre-arrest bails in all pending cases where arrests have not yet been made. In the event of new cases, he wishes to be allowed to seek recourse through the courts for pre-arrest bail.

Chaudhry contends that he apprehends further incarceration through either pending cases or the fabrication of new charges. "This practice violates Articles 4, 9, 14, and 17 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973," he argued.

"The petitioner has been in custody for over four months and has undergone a physical remand of 41 days during this period," Chaudhry stated, adding that the respondents' actions amount to a violation of his fundamental rights.

Also read: Fawad granted bail in traffic blocking case

Chaudhry highlighted that on November 4, 2023, he was arrested under a false and baseless case (FIR No:466/2023) registered hours after his arrest. He remained in police custody on physical remand until November 8, 2023. He also completed physical remand in FIR No. 23/23 ACE Rawalpindi and remains in NAB custody.

"The petitioner has been on physical remand for 41 days with the police, Anti-Corruption, and NAB authorities. Furthermore, he has been falsely implicated in 32 cases across Punjab through supplementary statements," he noted.

Chaudhry mentioned that he has obtained bail in some cases while others have been cancelled. He filed an application before the Anti-Terrorism Court, praying to be treated according to the law and to incorporate his arrest against the cases registered against him, but to no avail.

Chaudhry asserted that he has no other adequate, efficacious, or effective remedy but to invoke the constitutional jurisdiction of the court. "The inalienable right to be treated in accordance with the law under Article 4 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, is a paramount consideration and cannot be violated by the respondents," he argued.

He emphasised his fundamental right to a fair trial and due process under Article 10-A. "This court has a constitutional duty to extend these rights to the applicant in letter and spirit," Chaudhry concluded.


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