LAHORE: A district and sessions court on Wednesday denied post-arrest bail to Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) chief Dr Asif Ashraf Jalali in a case of alleged hate speech and objectionable remarks against religious personalities.

The Samanabad police had registered the first information report (FIR) on June 18 under sections 295-A (acts intended to outrage religious feeling), 298-A (use of derogatory remarks in respect of holy personages) of PPC and 13/16 of MPO.

A counsel on behalf of Mr Jalali argued before the court that the case was registered maliciously on political grounds. He said the suspect had not committed the offences cited in the FIR.

He asked the court to release the petitioner on bail, saying the police had completed its investigation and there was no need to keep the petitioner behind bars.

The investigating officer presented the case record before the court, saying the suspect was nominated in the FIR and a specific role had been attributed to him. He said the electronic record of the alleged hate speech presented was enough to prove the offence committed by the suspect. He said there was a possibility that the suspect would misuse the relief of the bail.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Additional District and Sessions Judge Misbah Khan dismissed the petition of Mr Jalali for post-arrest bail.

SAFDAR: An anti-terrorism court on Wednesday extended interim pre-arrest bail of retired Capt Safdar, son-in-law of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, in a case of allegedly attacking a police team outside the National Accountability Bureau office where PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz went to appear in an inquiry about land allotment.

Mr Safdar and his counsel Farhad Ali Shah appeared before the court, while PML-N MNA Rana Sanaullah failed to attend the proceedings of his pre-arrest bail petition.

Advocate Shah filed an application on behalf of the MNA seeking a one-time exemption from personal appearance due to a joint session of parliament in Islamabad.

The court allowed the application and extended the bail of both Safdar and Khan till Sept 22.

Chuhng police had registered the FIR against the leaders and workers of the PML-N. Initially, the police had included offences of the PPC in the case, but later added an offence under the terrorism act.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2020