An Islamabad judicial magistrate on Tuesday remanded PTI leader Ali Amin Gandapur in police custody for two more days in a case pertaining to threatening government and national institutions.

Gandapur, a former federal minister and the PTI’s central leader, was arrested on Thursday night outside the building of the Peshawar High Court’s Dera Ismail Khan bench — on charges of two criminal cases registered against him by DI Khan police — after an hours-long drama and sent to the central jail on a six-day judicial remand the next day.

On Saturday, Islamabad and Punjab police from Bhakar reached DI Khan and took the PTI leader to Islamabad. An Islamabad judicial magistrate on Sunday remanded him into police custody for a day.

The first information report (FIR) registered against Gandapur mentions an audio leak, in which he could purportedly be heard using derogatory language against the federal coalition. According to the FIR, the audio was aired on a private news channel.

Earlier today, Gandapur was presented in an anti-terrorism court (ATC) upon the expiry of his one-day physical remand, following which the ATC judge directed police to produce him in a relevant district court as terrorism charges had been removed from the case against him.

Progress report sought, remand extended

Gandapur was presented in the court of Judicial Magistrate Ihtasham Alam Khan today, where Investigation Officer (IO) Abdul Sattar requested a 10-day extension in the PTI leader’s remand for voice matching, weapon recovery and further investigation.

According to the court order, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the IO contended that he could only get the DVD recording of the incident from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) due to a shortage of time and it could not be matched with Gandapur’s voice since the procedure was required to be done “in a proper manner and procedure at a proper place/laboratory”.

The court observed that “admittedly, voice matching is very much necessary in order to brought on record the truth or otherwise of the matter”.

Therefore, it said, “for the purpose of voice matching and for further investigation, two days physical remand/custody of the accused is allowed subject to pre and post medical examination of the accused”.

It directed the IO to submit a report on the investigation’s progress and present Gandapur before the court at the next hearing on April 13.

The “IO is directed to show concrete progress in investigation”, the court order read.

Terrorism provisions struck down

Earlier, Gandapur was presented before Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Special Judge Raja Jawad Abbas, who asked the PTI leader if he was tortured.

The judge said Gandapur should be presented in the relevant district court since terrorism provisions were struck down in the case against him.

According to the court order issued by the judicial magistrate today, an ATC struck down the terrorism provision from the FIR against Gandapur.

During the hearing, counsel for Gandapur Babar Awan’s assistant lawyer contended that police had wasted the court’s time by including terrorism charges in the case.

The court accepted his request, following which Awan presented arguments on the matter.

He contended that the IO had wasted the court and lawyers’ time and “humiliated” Gandapur.

“A private channel is not a plaintiff against Ali Amin Gandapur. A show cause notice should be issued to the IO for wasting the court’s time,” he said.

Awan argued that a magistrate had registered the case against Gandapur “based on lies” after six months after the incident. He questioned why the plaintiff had waited six months to register a case.

Following his arguments, the judge directed that Gandapur be presented before a relevant district court.

The case

On April 8, a case was registered against the PTI leader at Islamabad’s Golra police station under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

The FIR also invoked Sections 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by Section 121), 122 (collecting arms, etc., with intention of waging war against Pakistan), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 16 of Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) ordinance.

According to the FIR, an audio was aired on a private news channel in which the two persons talk about weapons. In the clip, Gandapur could also be allegedly heard threatening the Pakistan Democratic Movement and saying that his supporters would take over Islamabad.

Besides, he also threatened the police in the message, the complaint added.

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