KARACHI: The judge of Anti-Terrorism Court-XVI on Wednesday recused himself from hearing the bail applications of Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh and sent the pleas to the administrative judge of ATCs to fix them before another court.

Mr Sheikh, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader along with dozens of other party activists has been booked and arrested in connection with four criminal cases related to instigating violence, rioting, attempted murder and causing terror during the Feb 16 PS-88 by-elections and obstructing and attacking officials during demolition of his farmhouse on Feb 6.

The opposition leader was booked in two of the four cases under anti-terrorism law.

A day ago, the administrative judge of the ATCs had transferred the bail pleas to the ATC-XVI judge for hearing and deciding the matter.

On Wednesday, the bail applications filed by the PTI leader seeking grant of post-arrest bail came up before the ATC-XVI judge for hearing arguments from the special public prosecutor.

A magistrate dismisses bail application of a qari in child pornography case

However, the judge recused himself from the matter and declined to hear the applications of Mr Sheikh.

Judicial sources told Dawn that the ATC-XVI judge while citing personal reasons sent a reference to the administrative judge requesting him to transfer the bail pleas to any other court.

The administrative judge transferred the bail applications to the ATC-III with direction to proceed with the matter and dispose of the same in accordance with the law, the sources added.

Currently, Mr Sheikh along with five others is on judicial remand in both the cases.

In the first FIR, the police alleged that the PTI leader had instigated his supporters and party activists to resort to violence, firing, attempted murder and caused terrorism on the day of by-election.

In the second FIR, it alleged that Mr Sheikh along with his party activists had resorted to violence, attacked officials of the anti-encroachment department and police and hindered an action against his farmhouse in Solangi Goth on Feb 6.

Bail plea dismissed

A judicial magistrate dismissed on Wednesday an application filed by a seminary teacher seeking grant of post-arrest bail in a case pertaining to alleged child pornography.

Last month, the Federal Investigation Agency claimed to have arrested the man for his alleged involvement in child pornography and harassing a teenage girl.

On Wednesday, the suspect moved an application for post-arrest bail in the case.

However, the judicial magistrate (East) while dismissing the bail plea ruled that the plea lacked merits to make out a case for the grant of bail after arrest.

The FIA’s Cyber Crime Circle had arrested the suspect in Gulshan-i-Iqbal on a complaint lodged by a woman.

According to the complainant, she had hired a qari (religious teacher) for home tuition to teach her children.

Later, her 13-year-old daughter complained that she had been physically abused by him. The teenage girl also complained that the accused also allegedly took her obscene pictures and on their basis he was trying to harass and blackmail her, demanding money.

The investigating officer informed the court that a mobile phone was recovered from the custody of the suspect and had been sent to a laboratory for forensic analysis and obscene images of the victim/minor girl were found in the device.

A case was registered under relevant sections of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 and the Pakistan Penal Code.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2021

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