SC admits PTI petition against Gill’s interrogation

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ISLAMABAD
The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday approved for a preliminary hearing a PTI petition against the second physical remand of Shahbaz Gill and the interrogation that was conducted after the PTI leader was handed over to the police for a second time.
The apex court issued notices to the government and the Investigation Officer (IO) of the case against Gill. The IO has been told to appear before the court with all the records. During the hearing, Justice Mazahar Naqvi came down hard on the government counsel.
Shahbaz Gill was arrested on August 9 under sedition charges but a lower court sent him to jail on judicial remand only two days later, rejecting the plea of investigators who had sought more time to question the PTI leader.
After the Islamabad High Court ordered the lower judiciary to hear the investigator’s pleas again, Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry sent Gill to police custody for two days. The PTI protested the decision and Imran Khan went on to issue threats to the judge, warranting a terror case against him as well as contempt of court charges.
After Gill landed in police custody for the second time, he was interrogated and led a police team to his residence in the Parliament Lodges, where a satellite phone and pistol were recovered.
Following the discovery, the PTI filed a petition before the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the second remand and requested the court to declare interrogation conduct so far as null and void and against the law.
On Thursday, the apex court constituted a three-member bench, under Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and set the petition for a hearing on Friday. Other members of the bench include Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail.
Hearing
The bench met Friday morning and admitted the petition for a preliminary hearing. During the hearing, Justice Mazahar Naqvi questioned did the police want to recover Shahbaz Gill’s tongue that he used for uttering the words [which led to his arrest].
The justice said that things recovered from Gill had nothing to do with the case. Justice Mazahar said that Shehbaz Gill will have to approach the relevant forum against torture inflicted upon him. Who has stopped the accused from filing an application, the justice said.
Justice Mandokhail said that did the police never subject anyone to torture under the PTI rule. The justice also asked if the court didn’t have the power to send someone on remand or whether the court could interfere with the job of an investigation office.
Gill’s counsel, Salman Safdar, said that the ruling to remand Gill into police custody for the second time was the most controversial in the country’s history. Salman Safdar, however, was reprimanded by Justice Naqvi for saying that the Code of Criminal Procedures (Cr PC) also applied to the apex court.
Why did you come unprepared for the case? the justice asked. Salman Safdar said that the case against Gill was registered at the instigation of PMLN’s media cell. Justice Mazhar said that the case was registered after Gill gave a beeper. He said that the court could only examine the legal position of the magistrate’s order in a review case. The top court later adjourned the hearing for an indefinite time.