Hashmi’s bail plea rejected

Published December 6, 2003

ISLAMABAD, Dec 5: The District and Sessions Judge, Islamabad, Chaudhry Asad Raza, dismissed on Friday the bail application of Alliance for Restoration of Democracy President Makhdoom Javed Hashmi and fixed Monday for regular hearing of a mutiny case against him.

“By going through the record of the case, it seems the accused, prima facie has committed an offence which falls under section 124 A (Sedition) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and, therefore, cannot be granted bail,” observed the judge in his 11-page verdict.

The judge said the letter the accused read out and distributed among press reporters and others seemed to be carried by him for the first time.

“We will definitely challenge the decision before the high court and will avail all judicial avenues available to us to get a bail in favour of Javed Hashmi,” defence counsel Latif Khosa and Syed Zafar Ali Shah told Dawn.

The district and sessions judge also mentioned the statements of the witnesses which were produced by the prosecution and observed that an attempt was made to create a feeling to abet mutiny against the high command of the armed forces.

Two witnesses, Captain Jehanzeb Zahoor and Captain Nadir Saleem, in their statements before the magistrate had stated that they felt insulted while listening to the letter being read out which instigated them for mutiny against the high command of the armed forces. Two media persons, one from daily Islam and other from the government news agency APP, who had covered the press conference, had also recorded their statements.

According to the verdict, the statement of the witnesses also showed that this letter could cause treason among the army personnel and create public disturbance, hatred against the Constitution, subvert laws of the state and disturb tranquillity in society.

The issue as to from where the letter came and its veracity would also be looked into during the regular hearing of this case.

About the application of Mr Hashmi, arrested on Oct 29 on the charges of issuing statements against the army, regarding the provision of A-Class in the jail, the court directed the Adyala jail authority to submit a detailed report in this regard on Dec 8 when Mr Hashmi would be produced before the court on the expiry of his judicial remand. The court also might give its decision on his application on the same date.

Later, Mr Zafar Ali Shah, talking to reporters, said the decision was expected and accused the government of political victimization.

He recalled that special prosecutor Munir Bhatti in the challan he presented before the court had also involved other parliamentarians in the case but only Mr Hashmi was being victimised.

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