Fawad Chaudhry, brother get protective bail in Azadi March rioting case

Published May 28, 2022
Fawad Chaudhry takes a selfie with his brother, Ahmed Faraz (second from right) in the background at the Islamabad High Court. — Photo courtesy Fawad Chaudhry Twitter
Fawad Chaudhry takes a selfie with his brother, Ahmed Faraz (second from right) in the background at the Islamabad High Court. — Photo courtesy Fawad Chaudhry Twitter

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted protective bail to PTI leader and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry and his brother, Faraz Ahmed, in a case registered against them for allegedly provoking people against the government and rioting in the jurisdiction of Mangla police in district Jhelum during the PTI's Azadi March.

Bail was granted to the brothers against a surety of Rs5,000 each and the petition was disposed of thereafter.

The case against Chaudhry and Ahmed was registered at Mangla police station in Jhelum, and 150 to 200 others have also been booked in the case.

Chaudhry and Ahmed had filed a petition for their protective bail in the IHC, where Chief Justice Athar Minallah took up their plea today despite it being an off day.

The IHC CJ, in his order, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, noted that Chaudhry and Ahmed had sought bail in a first information report dated May 25.

The FIR was registered under Sections 353 (assault or use criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing a public servant in discharge of public functions), 188 (disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs50), 148 (rioting while armed with a deadly weapon) and 149 (every member of an unlawful assembly guilty of an offence committed in prosecution of a common object) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The order said the brothers' counsel had argued that they had been involved in the case "with mala fide intention and ulterior motives".

Allowing Chaudhry and Ahmed bail, the court said: "Without touching merits of the case and considering the intention to surrender before the court of competent jurisdiction, the petitioners are admitted to protective bail, subject to furnishing surety in the sum of Rs.5,000/- (Rupees Five Thousand Only) with one surety in the like amount (EACH), to the satisfaction of the Deputy Registrar (Judicial) of this Court."

"The petitioners will be at liberty to deposit cash surety in the light of the policy of this court," the court order read.

The court also directed the petitioners to approach the court of the competent jurisdiction on or before June 7, stating that "this order will lapse automatically on June 7, 2022".

The case

Chaudhry, Ahmed and 150 to 200 unidentified suspects were booked in the case on the complaint of SHO Mangla Cantt Sajid Mehmood.

Police claimed in the FIR that upon being told their rally was against the law, the PTI supporters became violent and started pelting policemen with stones.

“The rally participants were also equipped with weapons and gave life threats,” the FIR said.

Jhelum police spokesperson Ahsan Butt told Dawn on Thursday that no raids or arrests had been made in connection with the case by then.

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