Gill remanded to police custody for 48 hours

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Adiala Jail hands over Gill to Islamabad Police

Zubair Qureshi
Islamabad

An Islamabad district and sessions court on Wednesday remanded senior PTI leader Shahbaz Gill in police custody for 48 hours on a review plea by Islamabad Police that is seeking Gill’s physical remand in a sedition case.

The court had reserved its verdict earlier in the day after the completion of arguments by both the parties.

Sessions judge Zeba Chaudhry took up the case for rehearing on Wednesday morning following the orders of the Islamabad High Court over the government’s plea challenging the dismissal of Gill’s physical remand by the duty magistrate.

Lawyers Salman Safdar and Faisal Chaudhry represented Gill — who has been behind the bars since last Tuesday (August 9) — in court.

At the very outset of the hearing, Special Prosecutor Rizwan Abbasi informed the court that the judicial magistrate remanded Gill into police custody for two days but the investigation officer requested for an extension in the remand.

He said that the duty magistrate should have considered all aspects of the matter but he rejected the request. “How did the magistrate take Gill’s statement as the final statement?” he asked.

Abbasi maintained that a remand of at least 10 days was granted in ordinary cases while this was a case of criminal conspiracy. He contended that the accused PTI leader was telling lies again and again and, therefore, further interrogation and a polygraph test is required.

The special prosecutor further stated that Gill has already confessed that his driver has one of his mobile phones.

“The IO clearly wrote in the plea that it’s not just about the recovery [of the phone] but there are other aspects that need to be investigated,” he said.

After the completion of the arguments by special prosecutor, Gill’s lawyer Salman Safdar argued that the case against Gill was based on malafide intent and political revenge because he mentioned the names of nine PML-N leaders including Maryam Nawaz, Ayaz Sadiq and others.

He complained that some aspects of the basis of seeking remand have been kept secret while the case record hasn’t been provided to the defence.

He said that it needs to be ascertained why the police want Gill to be remanded.

“The case has been based on the selection of words and speech […] and the police have the speech.”

He also raised objection over the admissibility of the case, saying that the complainant is a magistrate who filed the case on behalf of the bureaucracy and army but a treason case cannot be filed without the permission of the federal government.

Moreover, he said that the sections imposed in the case were of capital punishment and life imprisonment, asking “if these sections are applicable on such a speech.”

Gill made some wrong statements but things could be wrong but they don’t come under treason or criminal conspiracy,” he said. Gill’s lawyer also contended that Gill had been remanded for three days and the request wasn’t turned down immediately.

Besides, the IO failed to complete the investigation in three days while the forensic department had sent the reports within 24 hours.

Meanwhile, following a heated standoff between Islamabad and Rawalpindi polices on Wednesday over the custody of Shahbaz Gill, the Adiala jail authorities handed over the custody of the PTI leader to the former.

As Islamabad Police left the jail with Gill, the Punjab Police personnel returned back after hours-long drama outside the jail premises.

 

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