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Post-arrest bail given to TLP leaders

Updated May 15, 2019

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Both the TLP leaders, who were taken into custody last year, likely to be released from jail today. ─ AFP/File
Both the TLP leaders, who were taken into custody last year, likely to be released from jail today. ─ AFP/File

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday gran­ted post-arrest bail to Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and patron-in-chief Pir Afzal Qadri in a case of leading violent protests against acquittal of Christian woman Aasia Bibi.

A two-judge LHC bench comprising Justice Mohammad Qasim Khan and Justice Asjad Javed Ghural accepted the bail application of Khadim Rizvi during the hearing of the case. The court, however, granted the bail to Afzal Qadri temporarily on medical grounds till July 15. Both were directed to furnish surety bonds of Rs500,000 each.

The bench observed that Khadim Rizvi was about 54 years old and admittedly an infirm and incapacitated person and in this respect a report from the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases was part of the file according to which the petitioner was wholly incapable of moving his half body. It noted that the prosecution had not refuted the medical report.

About Afzal Qadri, the bench observed that the petitioner’s counsel presented two documents/affidavits showing repentance over his speeches. However, the judges abstained from commenting on the affidavits at the stage of decision on the bail matter. The bench observed that Afzal Qadri, 68, had been suffering from heart disease and had also undergone coronary artery bypass grafting (CBG) surgery and then again CRT-D implantation and now was using pacemaker.

“Therefore, in the larger interest of justice, in order to provide an opportunity to the petitioner to get himself medically treated in an institute of his preference, while granting him interim relief we admit him to interim post-arrest bail till July 15, 2019 subject to furnishing bail bond in the sum of Rs500,000,” the bench said in its order, adding that the bail petition shall remain pending and be fixed for hearing on July 15.

The court directed Mr Qadri to appear before it at the next hearing along with the entire record relating to his treatment.

Both TLP leaders are likely to be released on Wednesday (today).

The Civil Lines police had registered an FIR under Section 290/291/353/427/186/188 of the Pakistan Penal Code, Section 6 of the Sound System Punjab Ordinance 2015 and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 against the TLP leaders after they led violent protests against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2019