PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday suspended Haripur deputy commissioner’s orders for the detention of former provincial minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Yousaf Ayub Khan under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance and ordered his release.

It also granted interim bail to Mr Ayub on condition of furnishing two surety bonds of Rs50,000 each in a criminal case registered against him in Haripur.

The PTI leader was directed by a bench consisting of Justice Shakeel Ahmad and Justice Kamran Hayat Miankhel to appear before the relevant Haripur court in three days.

The court issued orders during the hearing into two petitions of Mr Ayub.

In one petition, he requested the court to declare that Haripur DC’s orders for detaining him for a period of 30 days under Section 3 of the MPO Ordinance was illegal.

Yousaf Ayub also gets bail in a case

In the other petition, he sought the court’s orders for the government to produce details of the cases registered against him and grant him bail in those cases.

A panel of senior lawyers, including Sardar Nasir Aslam Khan, Ahmad Sultan Tareen, Sheikh Abid Ali and others, represented the petitioner, whereas provincial advocate general Aamir Javed and an additional deputy commissioner of Haripur also turned up.

Lawyers for the petitioner said their client was leading the election campaign of his two brothers, including Akbar Ayub Khan and Arshad Ayub Khan, in their respective constituencies of Haripur district.

They added that for the last few days, the local administration and law-enforcement agencies had been bent on arresting the petitioner in cases not known to him.

The counsel said that because of the affiliation of the petitioner and his brothers with the PTI, they were continuously subjected to harassment by the government and unwarranted raids were conducted on their residences.

They added that the DC issued an illegal order for the petitioner’s detention insisting he was creating a law and order situation threatening peace in the area but failed to provide any evidence in that regard.

When the court ordered the suspension of the DC’s orders, lawyer Sardar Nasir requested it to stop authorities from arresting the petitioner in any other case.

He argued that whenever the court ordered the release of a political leader, the law-enforcement agencies held them in another case.

AG Aamir Javed said the Supreme Court had already declared illegal the grant of blanket bails in the cases that were not even pending with the court.

The bench directed the AG to learn if there is any other case registered against the petitioner.

He later informed the court that an FIR was registered against the petitioner at the Beer Police Station in Haripur on Wednesday.

The AG added that a report was registered against the petitioner in the police station’s daily diary on Jan 21 that had been converted into an FIR.

He added that the police had got the court’s permission to remove the petitioner from the prison.

Mr Javed said it would be appropriate for the petitioner to approach the relevant court for bail.

The bench observed that it was not right move on part of the police to convert a daily diary report into an FIR after the passage of 15-20 days. It added that the “system won’t work if there was no rule of law.”

Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2024

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