Home Latest News Police Request for Extension to Shahbaz Gill’s Physical Remand Rejected

Police Request for Extension to Shahbaz Gill’s Physical Remand Rejected

In short order, Islamabad court grants judicial remand of PTI chairman’s chief of staff

by Staff Report

File photo

An Islamabad District and Sessions Court on Friday rejected a police request to extend the physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s Shahbaz Gill, who is facing charges of sedition over a statement issued to a TV channel last week.

Following a brief hearing in the morning, the court reserved its verdict, announcing it at 10:30 a.m. The short order did not offer any additional details beyond granting judicial remand of Gill and rejecting the police plea of an extension to his two-day physical remand for further investigation.

Addressing the court during the hearing, the investigation officer claimed that a recording of the ARY News program in which Gill had appeared to urge the rank-and-file of the armed forces to mutiny against their superiors had been acquired. He also read out a transcript of the statement, saying the audio evidence matched the text.

In a statement to the court, Gill claimed he could “never even think” of making a statement against the Pakistan Army. He also alleged that he had tortured in police custody and rejected a medical report submitted a day earlier that had stated he was in good health. He claimed that he was not being detained at the Kohsar Police Station, adding that police had forced him to stay awake at night and prevented him from meeting his lawyers.

Gill was taken into custody by police in Islamabad on Aug. 9 on charged of “inciting the public” against state institutions. A treason case has been registered against him at the Kohsar Police Station under several sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, including 124-A (sedition); 131 (abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty); 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot if rioting be committed; if not committed); 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups); 505 (statements conducing to public mischief); 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), among others.

Unlike the first hearing, when Gill appeared in court with no support beyond his legal counsel, Friday’s hearing attracted several PTI leaders, including Kanwal Shauzab, Ali Nawaz Awan and Chaudhry Fawad Hussain. However, they were barred from approaching Gill.

Addressing media after the hearing, Gill denied reports that he had given a confessional statement. “I haven’t made any confessional statement,” he said of the reports that he had admitted to police that the statement he gave to ARY News had been in line with party policy.

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