Court rejects TikToker's pre-arrest bail application in forest blaze video case

Published May 27, 2022
TikToker Nosheen Saed alias Dolly. — Screengrab via 
dollyofficiall TikTok
TikToker Nosheen Saed alias Dolly. — Screengrab via dollyofficiall TikTok

A district court in Islamabad on Friday rejected TikToker Nosheen Saeed alias Dolly's pre-arrest bail application in a case related to a forest fire.

Saeed, who has more than 11 million followers on TikTok, had posted a clip of herself walking playfully in a silver ball gown in front of a burning hillside, presumably the Margalla Hills in Islamabad, with the caption: "Fire erupts wherever I am."

Her video immediately came under fire on social media as people initially assumed that she had started the blaze herself at a time when a devastating heatwave was underway in Pakistan causing forest fires.

Subsequently, within hours after it was uploaded, the video was taken down from the application.

Later, Saeed said in a clarification released by an assistant that she did not start the fire and there was "no harm in making videos".

Read: TikToker Dolly disputes location of viral fire video

She had applied for pre-arrest bail after registration of a first information report (FIR) against her for setting the forest ablaze to shoot a video. The court had granted her interim bail till May 27 (today).

However, prior to today's hearing, her lawyer, Mian Tariq, filed an application to transfer the bail case from Judge Abida Sajjad.

During the hearing of the transfer application by Judge Kamran Basharat Mufti, Saeed's lawyer told the court that he had submitted the bail bonds as well as a surety from his friend but Judge Sajjad rejected bail saying that the court could not accept surety from a lawyer.

The counsel said the TikToker was unable to arrange surety from a local and the judge had "made up her mind before listening to the facts of the case". He requested that the case be transferred to another judge "on merit".

He also claimed that the fire was started in Haripur but the complainant had not yet identified the area.

Judge Mufti said the court would await the government's response and adjourned the hearing till June 1.

When Judge Sajjad resumed the hearing on the pre-arrest bail application later in the day, she asked where the suspect was.

The court clerk then asked the suspect – Saeed – to come to the courtroom thrice but she did not appear. Instead, she stayed in her lawyer's chamber.

Her lawyer, Manzoor, informed the court that hearing on the transfer application had been adjourned till June 1 and requested the court to grant his client time till then.

For his part, the government's lawyer Hasnain Haider argued that the district court was not authorised to hear matters related to forest fires.

Judge Sajjad then dismissed the pre-arrest bail application.

Subsequently, her lawyer submitted a fresh application for pre-arrest bail which was heard by Judge Abida Sajjad but it was again dismissed.

Following the hearings, Saeed left the courtroom with her lawyer but is yet to be arrested.

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