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IHC notifies the Islamabad IG of the PTI leaders' claims of contempt about their re-arrest

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  • IHC informs IG that “Punjab Police can’t directly arrest anyone.”
  • IGP is required by court order to respond by Monday.
  • Case hearings have been postponed until May 23 (Tuesday).

ISLAMABAD: On Friday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) sent a notice to Islamabad Inspector-General of Police Dr. Akbar Nasir Khan requesting an explanation for why PTI leaders were re-arrested for disobeying court orders.

By Monday, May 22, the IG must turn in his answer to the notice. Mansoor Usman Awan, Pakistan’s attorney general, was further given notice by the court in this suit.

The notices were given out during the hearing of several motions seeking to hold police officers in contempt of court for the re-arrest of PTI leaders, including Senior Vice-President Dr. Shireen Mazari, Ali Muhammad Khan, and Maleeka Bukhari, following their release on bail.

The arguments were heard by Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb.

After receiving respite from the IHC, which urged authorities not to detain the three lawmakers once more, they were once again detained. They were, however, captured by the Punjab Police.

As Khan and Bukhari were both re-arrested and imprisoned in the Adiala Jail, Mazari was brought into jail on Wednesday night, the same day that she had been discharged by a local court.

‘Govt trying to defeat the court’s writ’

Shireen Mazari’s request was heard by Justice Aurangzeb, who harshly criticised the administration for attempting to “defeat the court’s writ” and voiced worry over the cases being registered.

The judge questioned the politician’s re-arrest in defiance of court orders, “Why was Shireen Mazari handed over to the Punjab Police, despite court orders?”

The AGP commented on the situation and stated, “This should not have happened.”

Justice Aurangzeb questioned the IG about whether the Punjab Police were intentionally summoned in despite the fact that they had already been given permission by the court not to arrest the PTI lawmaker.

“No one may be detained by the Punjab Police straight from Islamabad. In retrospect, the Islamabad Police is unable to distance itself from it, the judge said.

He then turned to AGP Awan and gave him the command to address the police’s disrespect for the court ruling with the highest authorities in the nation.

“You hold the key to our power. The judge instructed AGP Awan to bring the situation to the highest authorities.

“The writ of the court is the dignity of this country,” Justice Aurangzeb said, “and no one is justifying the violent incidents.”

A campaign against courts was being initiated, Justice Aurangzeb said.

He said that those conducting the campaign have previously used the courts to obtain redress. “These courts are here to deliver justice according to the law,” he said.

He continued by saying that judges cannot appear on talk programmes or defend themselves in the media, in contrast to politicians.

Justice Aurangzeb cried throughout the hearing and said, “We are here only for service.”

The courtroom’s solicitors responded by affirming their dedication to the IHC and said, “We are with the court.”

The government’s attorney argued that the court’s order was followed when Bukhari and Khan’s plea was being heard.

He said that Khan and Bokhari were detained once more in other cases following their release.

“We have seen a video clip in which Ali Muhammad Khan is being put in a car by police officials as soon as he comes out of Adiala Jail,” the petitioner’s attorney stated.

The hearing was subsequently postponed until May 23 (Tuesday) by the court.

‘No one can defeat writ of court’

After the court hearing, the attorney general told reporters outside the IHC: “No one can defeat the court’s writ.”

Then a reporter said, “Arrests still happened despite the court’s bar.”

The AGP retaliated by stating that, based on his knowledge, the Punjab government had issued the arrest warrants in accordance with the Maintenance of the Public Order (MPO) statute.

“It is a provincial matter; I am examining how it was carried out from the purview of the federal capital,” the speaker said.

He continued by saying that the Punjab government had issued the order for the re-arrest and that the court could assess the legality of the decision made by the provincial authorities.

He said, “If the province orders detention, Islamabad police is bound to hand them over,” and said that by law, the Punjab police may detain anyone from Islamabad.

“The matter of the arrests is in the court,” he said, “so I cannot talk more.”

The attorney general added that the Lahore High Court is now hearing the MPO case.

“The court must decide whether or not they are legal.”

Speaking about the conversations between the government and PTI, the attorney general claimed that the former put a lot of effort into getting them going.

“PTI was brought to the negotiation table in April after much effort; it is unfortunate that the PTI disrupted the negotiations.”

He said that on May 2, the government had urged the Supreme Court to resume the talks and had given in to a number of the PTI’s requests.

IHC seeks details of cases against Asad Umar

The IHC demanded information about the cases brought against Asad Umar, the secretary general of the PTI, by Monday in a different hearing.

In order to learn more about the cases brought against the PTI leader, Justice Aurangzeb heard his appeal against his arrest under 3MPO. The anti-terrorist team arrested the lawmaker on May 10.

PTI leader and attorney Babar Awan was present in court during the proceedings to represent the petitioner.

He argued that the court should set the cases’ hearing dates for Monday and requested information on the number of cases filed against Umar.

“Do you want to enjoy your weekend here?” Justice Aurangzeb retorted with a jest.

The hearing was subsequently postponed until Monday after the court accepted the plea and sent letters to all parties.

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