Thursday, December 22, 2022
An Islamabad district and sessions court issued a bailable arrest warrant for PTI leader Shahbaz Gill in the sedition case filed against him for inciting mutiny within the army.
The court, while issuing the warrant, said the PTI leader should ensure his appearance at the next hearing and can obtain bail against surety bonds of Rs200,000. The case has been adjourned till January 6.
During the hearing, a junior lawyer requested the court to grant Gill an exemption from today’s appearance.
At this, special prosecutor Rizwan Abbasi said that the PTI leader had adopted a non-serious attitude in the case.
“Where is Gill’s lawyer Shahryar Tariq?” asked additional sessions judge Tahir Abbas Sipra.
The junior lawyer told the court that Tariq was busy in the high court and will reach in a while.
At this point, the special prosecutor intervened and told the judge that Gill’s request was a joke with the court. He also urged the court to issue warrants for the PTI leader.
Gill’s lawyer, Tariq, told the judge that Gill’s illness was detected during his physical remand when he underwent a medical examination. He added that his client’s health was being ignored which caused the delay of the trial.
“Gill got an exemption from appearance based on a government hospital’s report,” Tariq said. He added that his client, an asthma patient, has been in the hospital since December 7.
“As per the hospital report, Gill needs oxygen to breathe. We are not running away from the hearing, the hospital is like a jail,” the PTI leader’s lawyer added. He also urged the court to accept his client’s exemption from the hearing.
“Gill will appear in the court once his health improves,” Tariq said, adding that Gill has been appearing in the court in the past as well.
“There is a smog problem in Lahore. Why doesn’t Gill get treatment at PIMS?” the judge remarked.
Gill was taken into custody on August 9 for inciting mutiny within the Pakistan Army through his remarks during a private TV channel show.
He was booked in a sedition and arms recovery case in August and stayed in detention for over a month. He, however, finally got bail from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the sedition case on September 15, after repeatedly attempting to get released.
The case against Gill is registered at Kohsar Police Station, under Sections 124-A (sedition), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), and of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The PTI had been insistent in demanding the party leader's bail, alleging that he is facing humiliation, torture and sexual abuse in police custody.
While Gill was in police custody, the PTI had repeatedly alleged that he was "sexually assaulted", "tortured", and "stripped-naked". However, the authorities completely denied the claims.