ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday ordered the capital police to quash 11 first information reports (FIRs) against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Ali Amin Gandapur registered in different police stations of the federal capital in connection with alleged violence in the May 25 protest.

IHC Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, while deciding the petitions of Mr Gandapur, ordered the police to quash the FIRs.

Islamabad police registered FIRs against him, in Bhara Kahu, Karachi Company, Koral, Secretariat, Kohsar, Aabpara, Golra Sharif and Industrial Area police stations.

As per the FIRs, Mr Gandapur had launched a protest against the government, took out processions on May 25 and 26 against the government, wherein members of the party under the leadership of the chairman Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi along with other leaders made provocative speeches, blocked main roads, entered into the Red Zone area illegally, used loud speakers and violated Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

Counsel for Mr Gandapur argued that the petitioner had not committed any crime and there was no evidence available against him. He said in utter disregard of the order of the apex court, the state had registered the above mentioned FIRs with mala fide intention.

He argued that the FIRs were concocted and politically motivated and the prosecution’s story was merely an afterthought.

The state counsel has stated that Mr Gandapur was nominated in the FIRs as he has committed heinous crimes and sufficient evidence was available against him.

He further argued that Mr Gandapur could have availed alternative remedy before the trial court by moving an acquittal plea.

Justice Jahangiri observed that all FIRs consist of two parts, one part is regarding those persons who took out processions, blocked the roads of Islamabad while carrying PTI flags, pelted stones, rods and sticks, made provocative / anti-government speeches by using loud speakers and violated section 144 of the CrPC, imposed by the district administration of Islamabad.

In the second part, it has been alleged that the said protests were made at the behest of PTI leaders. In all the FIRs, there is no allegation levelled against the petitioner that he entered in Islamabad during the said occurrences / protests and the only allegation levelled against him is that upon his abetment, processions/unlawful assemblies were organised in Islamabad.

He further observed that “the facts of one case differ from the other and, therefore, no rule of universal application can be laid in a certain case so as to be made applicable to other cases”.

The main consideration to be kept in view would be whether the continuance of the proceedings before the trial forum would be a futile exercise, wastage of time and abuse of process of court or not, he added.

The court noted that “there is no evidence available against the petitioner with the police regarding provocative speeches in Islamabad as well as abetment of the protests”.

Subsequently, the court ruled that the FIRs are partially quashed to the extent of the petitioner [Mr Gandapur] and “proceedings against the co-accused in the FIRs shall continue”.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2022

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