Sedition case: Court approves two-day physical remand of Fawad Chaudhry
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – A local court on Wednesday approved two-day physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and former federal minister Fawad Chaudhry.
Duty Magistrate Naveed Khan pronounced the reserved verdict, and adjourned the hearing till January 27 (Friday). The investigating officer had sought eight-day physical remand of the former minister but the request was rejected.
The PTI leader
was produced before the court of duty magistrate Naveed Khan at the district and sessions court in Islamabad s F-8 area and prayed for an eight day physical remand.
At the outset of the hearing, PTI’s lawyers requested the court to remove the handcuffs of
Fawad Chaudhary, Fawad Chaudhary asked the court to tell the Islamabad police not to do this,
there are 1500 policemen outside, and he is handcuffed, adding, “I am a lawyer of the Supreme Court, and I want to talk to my family for five minutes and five minutes to my lawyers.”
“It is unfortunate that we are taking revenge against each other in politics,” he said.
Fawad requested that the case against him be dismissed, arguing that if the case continued, free speech would end in the country.
The counsel of the ECP
Saad Hassan, read out the text of the FIR. In his arguments, the lawyer said that the ECP is a constitutional institution, and it has all the rights to hold elections.
He said that the commission was being targeted under a well-thought-out plan, and the accused tried to provoke the citizens, while they are role models for the public. The purpose of his speech was to provoke the groups.
A large number of PTI leaders
and workers were also present outside the court. A huge contingent of police has been deputed at the district and sessions courts. The police high command, through a wireless call, had directed the personnel to reach F-8 to avoid any untoward incident.
Saad Hassan told the court that Fawad targeted the families of the ECP members, adding that the PTI leader was promoting hatred against the institution.
He went on to say that the people behind the speech also needed to be identified, adding that there was sufficient evidence in the media against the PTI leader.
The ECP lawyer
further added that the charges of sedition are also included in the FIR, adding that
the members of the Commission are being threatened, the accused has been remanded, and further investigation is to be done.
Mr. Hassan, while presenting his arguments, said that the PTI leader called ECP a clerk,
to which the former minister again repeated his words, on which the court asked Fawad Chaudhary to come to one side and let the other parties come to the other side.
Mr. Chaudhry continued by saying, “I am grateful that they have included sedition charges
in the case against me, putting me in the ranks of great leaders like Nelson Mandela and Abul Kalam Azad.”
He added that the case against him should be dismissed, arguing that if the case continues, free speech would end in the country.
The PTI leader further said
that there shouldn’t be any case against him; in this way, democracy will end and no one will be able to criticize. “I never gave a speech but was addressing a media talk during which I was misquoted.” “I am the spokesperson of the PTI, and whatever I say is the party’s policy.” “It is not necessary that what I say is my own personal opinion,” he argued.
He also argued that if this FIR is accepted as a legal document, then it will be a violation of the fundamental rights of the people, adding that accepting ECP lawyers
would mean that if any policy or institution is criticized, a case of sedition will be registered.
Lawyers Ali Bukhari and Qaiser Imam, representing Fawad, also presented their arguments in court.
Bukhari argued that the FIR against Fawad should have been registered in Lahore,
stating that, according to the law, a case must be registered where the alleged crime took place.
On the other hand,
Imam questioned the applicability of the charges and whether a case could be registered at someone s request.
He also stated that the remarks made by the PTI leader were not within the jurisdiction of the Kohsar police station as they were not made in Islamabad.