ISLAMABAD: Deputy Commissioner (DC) Irfan Nawaz Memon on Wednesday surrendered to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the contempt of court case after Justice Babar Sattar had barred his exit from every route, including border crossing, seaports and airports, a day earlier.

Justice Sattar also issued non-bailable arrest warrants of DC Memon after he skipped the hearing of the contempt case initiated against him as well as Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Malik Jameel Zafar in connection with releasing the detention orders of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders Shehryar Afridi and Shandana Gulzar.

He was seeking exemption from personal attendance since he had to visit his native town Khairpur before heading to Saudi Arabia for Umrah on Feb 22.The bench had rejected his request and issued his warrants instead.

Justice Sattar directed the police of the federal capital as well as the four provinces to arrest and produce him before the court at 9am on Feb 21.

Memon, however, reached the courtroom on his own at 8:30am.

When the hearing resumed, he tendered apology for his absence and informed the court that since he was leaving for Saudi Arabia, he had decided to visit his mother before the departure.

Justice Sattar barred him from leaving the country, reminding him that he had issued 67 detention orders of citizens in the last three years and some of them were in violation of court orders.

Memon stated that he appeared in all the 18 hearings of the contempt case and never thought of flouting the court orders.

Justice Sattar remarked that the case would have been concluded had Memon appeared on Tuesday.

He reminded him that the court had declared the detention order illegal, but the deputy commissioner issued detained Afridi under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) again.

Memon’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi argued that the second detention order was issued by the deputy commissioner Rawalpindi, and for the sake of arguments, if this act was contemptuous, then the Rawalpindi DC should be blamed.

He said there was report that Mr Afridi might incite the public to violent protests, therefore, the district administration issued his detention orders. He argued that there was no mala fide intention on the part of his client.

Justice Sattar directed the deputy commissioner to respond to the show-cause notice issued to him for being absent and reserved the order in the case which is likely to be announced on March 1.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2024

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