Opposition leader Sheikh held, sent to prison after bail cancellation

Published August 18, 2022
<p>This file photo shows  Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh. — DawnNewsTV/File</p>

This file photo shows Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh. — DawnNewsTV/File

KARACHI: The Anti-Encroachment Force arrested Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf after a court revoked his interim bail for ‘failing’ to join investigation in a land-grab case on Wednesday.

The Anti-Encroachment Force Zone-I had booked Mr Sheikh in a case pertaining to alleged illegal occupation of 40 acres of state land in Manghopir near Northern Bypass.

The lawmaker appeared before the Special Court Sindh Public Property (Removal of Encroachment) seeking confirmation of the interim pre-arrest bail granted to him against a surety of Rs100,000.

The investigating officer submitted a report in court stating that the PTI leader did not join the investigation after availing bail before arrest.

Judge Akhlaque Hussain Larik noted that Mr Sheikh was granted bail before arrest on June 22 with a direction to join the investigation, but when the matter came up for hearing on July 18, the IO informed that he had not yet joined the probe.

He said his lawyer requested time to comply with the court direction and the hearing was put off until Aug 4. However, the suspect did not appear in court and filed an application seeking to condone his absence, which was accepted and the hearing was adjourned till Aug 17.

The state counsel contended that the PTI MPA had disobeyed the direction of the court, rendering his bail application “liable to be dismissed” on this ground.

However, defence counsel Zahoor Mahsud submitted that his client had contacted the IO time and again to join the investigation, but he didn’t cooperate.

He added that when Mr Sheikh went to the IO’s office to record his statement in the case, the latter was not available.

The judge noted: “It is hard to believe that the investigation officer did not mark attendance of the accused or he was not available when the accused appeared for joining the investigation.

“The accused could have moved a written application when he appeared for his statement before the investigation officer to prove his presence, even he could have captured a photo of his visit, but nothing was done,” the judge observed and ruled: “The accused had ample time to join the investigation, but he did not join the investigation, therefore, his application for confirmation of interim bail is dismissed.”

The court also cancelled the bail bond of the PTI leader and discharged his surety.

Following the dismissal of his bail, the officials of the anti-encroachment force took Mr Sheikh into custody.

Subsequently, the judge remanded him in judicial custody amidst tight security.

A case was registered under Sections 8(i) of the Special Public Property (Removal of Encroachment) Act, 2010 at the Anti-Encroachment Force Zone-I, Karachi, on behalf of the state.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2022

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