Safdar's request for bail in alleged incitement of hate case dismissed by Lahore court

October 26, 2019

A lower court in Lahore on Saturday denied a request for bail filed by retired Capt Muhammad Safdar, husband of PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz Sharif, in a case of alleged incitement of hate.

Magistrate Salman Asif pronounced the verdict after arguments from both sides concluded today.

Sadar's counsel, Farhad Ali Shah, argued that the police has no authority to register such a case against his client. "According to the law, if the government wishes to arrest someone, it will send the police a written notice for the registration of a case."

He further contended that if a person "speaks against the government, the police cannot directly make an arrest". "The law gives everyone a right to peaceful protest," he said.

The prosecution's lawyer, in turn, read out the first information report (FIR) before the court. He argued that Safdar, during a court appearance for bail in another case, "sat in the bar room and made remarks against the government".

He informed the court that further investigation into the matter is required and requested the court to reject Safdar's request for bail.

The court, ruling in the prosecution's favour, dismissed Safdar's bail application and sent him back to prison.

Safdar was arrested on the night of October 21 while he was returning to Lahore from Bhera. Police had registered a case against him on October 11 for speaking against state institutions.

The day following his arrest, when he was produced before the court, a deputy district prosecutor told the magistrate that the suspect was charged with inciting people against the government and state institutions. He said the suspect was arrested on a directive issued by Lahore deputy commissioner.

Police had sought to obtain Safdar's physical remand for 14 days. The request was denied by the court and Safdar had been sent to jail on judicial remand.

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