A Lahore anti-terrorism court (ATC) ordered on Saturday the release of 20 people who were arrested in a case pertaining to the attack on Jinnah House in the city on May 9.

The court orders came after it was informed that the suspects were not recognised by prosecution witnesses during an identification parade.

The 20 individuals were among many others booked and taken into custody over protests following the arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan in a graft case from the premises of the Islamabad High Court on May 9.

During the demonstrations, several military and civilian installations, including Jinnah House in Lahore where the city’s corps commander resides, were vandalised.

According to the court order issued by the ATC today, the case against the suspects was registered at Sarwar Road police station.

They were arrested under Section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure — which elaborates on circumstances during which a police officer may arrest a person without a warrant or an order by a judicial magistrate — and sent to a judicial lockup for an identification parade, the court order said, citing an application submitted by the investigating officer (IO) of the case.

“On Aug 16, during the identification parade, the said accused persons could not be identified by the PWs (prosecution witnesses,” it added.

On these grounds, the IO submitted an application forwarded by the deputy prosecutor general to the court for their discharge, the order said.

“Since the said accused persons could not be identified during the identification parade […] this court agrees with the discharge report prepared by the investigating officer,” ATC Judge Ejaz Ahmed Buttar ruled, adding that the suspects be released if they were not required in any other case.

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