KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Wednesday granted interim pre-arrest bail to the Karachi chapter president of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Khurram Sher Zaman, in two cases pertaining to May 9 riot.
Mr Sher Zaman, along with 10 former lawmakers and 800-1,000 party workers was declared an absconder in four identical cases registered at different police stations in the metropolis.
On Wednesday, Mr Zaman appeared before the ATC-XVI and filed an application seeking grant of bail before arrest in connection with two cases registered at the Tipu Sultan and Ferozabad police stations.
Defence counsel Shujaat Ali Khan alleged that his client had been booked in the cases under false allegations for raising his voice in the public interest.
He said that the applicant wanted to surrender and join the investigation but apprehended his arrest at the hands of police.
He pleaded to admit Mr Sher Zaman to pre-arrest bail to enable him join the investigation in the present cases.
Without touching the merits of the case, the judge granted him interim bail till Aug 26 subject to furnishing a surety bond of Rs100,000 each in both cases.
The judge, who heard the matter at the judicial complex inside the central prison, fixed the application for confirmation or otherwise on the next date.
Four identical cases have been registered under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapons), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 337-A (punishment for Shujja), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage to amount of one hundred rupees) and 109 (abetment) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Tipu Sultan, Ferozabad, Shah Faisal Colony and Mobina Town police station.
Over the weekend, former PTI lawkamker Raja Azhar Khan was arrested by police in a May 9 rioting case. He was produced before the administrative judge of the antiterrorism court, which remanded him in police custody for two days.
Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2023