Sunday, January 29, 2023
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry's brother pleaded with Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Justice Umar Ata Bandial to take suo motu notice of the arrest of his brother who is facing sedition charges for threatening the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), its members and their families.
The letter comes after the PTI leader was sent on remand in a sedition case — which has invited severe criticism not only from his party but also from senior members of the government.
Faisal expressed concern that Fawad may be subjected to physical torture while in police custody.
The PTI leader's brother, Faisal Chaudhry, in his letter addressed to the chief justice, argued that Fawad's arrest in Lahore was illegal and conducted in a manner as if he were a terrorist.
Faisal said that the former federal minister required intervention from the top court for the provision of justice.
Faisal also stated that the Lahore High Court's order on Fawad's arrest was disregarded.
"The LHC had repeatedly ordered police to produce Fawad Chaudhry before the court. The world saw, however, how judicial orders were ridiculed," the letter stated.
He said that powerful actors within the state did not listen to anyone as they handcuffed Fawad and whisked him away with his face covered with a cloth.
The letter said that Fawad Chaudhry was handed over to the Islamabad Police instead of being produced before the Lahore High Court. Following judicial custody, Fawad Chaudhry was once again handed over to the police on physical remand, he said.
He expressed fear that Fawad may suffer physical violence as had occurred in past incidents. "I am writing to you as a lawyer about the illegal arrest of another lawyer," he said.
Attaching a letter written by Fawad Chaudhry to his letter, Faisal requested the chief justice to consider it as well along with his appeal.
Fawad — who is facing sedition charges for publicly “threatening” the ECP members in a media talk — was arrested from his Lahore residence on Wednesday after a case was registered against him at the Kohsar Police Station in Islamabad.
He was presented before the court on Friday after the expiry of his physical remand, however, the prosecution’s request for an extension was turned down by Judicial Magistrate Waqas Ahmed Raja. Later, the decision was overturned by the session court.
The same magistrate then sent him on a two-day physical remand and ordered the police to present him on Monday. Fawad remains adamant that he won't take his remarks back, while his legal team has also called for discharging him from the case.
Earlier in the day, PTI Chairman Imran Khan also wrote a letter to CJP Bandial requesting him to ensure that the fundamental rights of Fawad Chaudhry are not violated.
In his letter to the CJP, the former prime minister mentioned that as the top judge is the custodian of the constitution, he requests him to "ensure that honour and dignity of Mr Fawad Ch [are] not violated".
The former prime minister cited the "inhuman" treatment dealt to Senator Azam Swati and PTI leader Shahbaz Gill while they were in the custody of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) — in two separate cases.
The PTI chief feared the former information minister would be subjected to similar ill-treatment, in violation of Articles 9, 10A, and 14 — which pertain to the right to a fair trial, freedom of speech, and inviolability of the dignity of a human being.