ISLAMABAD: A senior leader of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Jahangir Khan Tareen, has filed in the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) an application seeking acquittal in a case relating to an attack on the Parliament House and Pakistan Television building during the 2014 sit-in.
ATC judge Syed Kausar Abbasi Zaidi, after a preliminary hearing of Mr Tareen’s plea, issued a notice to the prosecutor and adjourned the matter to Feb 12. The court had granted exemption to Finance Minister Asad Umar, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Education and Professional Training Minister Shafqat Mehmood, Ijaz Chaudhry and other PTI leaders from personal attendance for Thursday’s proceedings.
The court, however, adjourned proceedings on a plea seeking acquittal of President Dr Arif Alvi in the same case. Mr Alvi has also been nominated as a suspect allegedly inciting violence during the sit-in by the PTI.
Though Mr Alvi being president of the country enjoys constitutional immunity in criminal proceedings, he had in September filed a petition seeking acquittal in the case.
Judge issues notice to prosecutor for Feb 12
According to Article 248 (2) of the Constitution, “No criminal proceeding whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or a Governor in any court during term of office.”
Police invoked relevant sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act against PTI chief Imran Khan and its leaders Dr Alvi, Mr Umar, Mr Qureshi, Mr Mehmood and Raja Khurram Nawaz for inciting violence during the 2014 sit-in at D-Chowk in Islamabad.
According to the prosecution, three people were killed and 26 others injured, while 60 were arrested during the violence. The prosecution submitted 65 photos, sticks, cutters, etc, to the court to establish its case.
Anchorperson’s indictment deferred Separately, the special judge, central, deferred the indictment of Dr Shahid Masood, anchorperson and former chairman of PTV.
The court was scheduled to charge-sheet Mr Masood in the PTV corruption case. However, the suspect challenged certain sections of the law invoked against him.
The judge reserved the ruling.
According to the investigation, Mr Masood being managing director and chairman of PTV was involved in embezzlement of Rs37 million in acquiring PCB media rights in 2008 when an agreement was signed with a fake company namely M/s ISS. The investigators claimed that money had also been released, thus causing a loss of millions of dollars to PTV as the state-run television failed to acquire PCB media rights from 2008 to 2013.
Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2019