PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday granted transit bail to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Senator Shibli Faraz in around 20 criminal cases registered against him by the police in the Punjab province and Islamabad city.

A bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Ibrahim Khan directed petitioner Shibli Faraz to submit two surety bonds of Rs100,000 each and approach the relevant courts for further relief in the next 20 days.

Advocates Naeem Panjotha and Mohammad Inam Yousafzai appeared for the petitioner and said around 20 cases had so far been registered by the police against their client.

They said those cases were mostly registered after the May 9 protests and were politically motivated.

Asks PTI senator to appear before relevant courts in 20 days

The lawyers said 11 cases were registered in the police stations of Rawalpindi, four in Islamabad and Faisalabad each, and one in Attock.

They said the petitioner wanted to appear before the relevant courts in those cases to get relief, but he feared arrest on the way to courts.

The counsel requested the bench to grant transit bail to their client to enable him to attend hearings by those courts.

Another petition by Mr Shibli for the provision of details of cases registered against him in the province has been pending with the high court.

Last week, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government informed the court that he wasn’t named in any case in the province. The court directed the National Accountability Bureau to inform it whether any investigation or inquiry against him was in progress.

MARWAT CASE: A bench consisting of Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim and Justice Wiqar Ahmad expressed annoyance over the non-appearance of PTI leader and MNA Sher Afzal Khan Marwat during hearings into 11 of his petitions for the quashing of FIRs registered against him in different parts of the province.

It adjourned proceedings in those petitions until April 3, warning that if the petitioner didn’t show up at the next hearing, it would recall the interim pre-arrest bail granted to him in those cases.

The petitioner’s counsel, Zahir Shah Marwat, insisted his client didn’t attend the hearing because he was busy with a case being heard by the Supreme Court.

Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim observed that the petitioner should have appeared as there were so many cases registered against him.

The PTI leader was mostly booked in different districts to address the party’s workers conventions ahead of the Feb 8 general elections.

The government has claimed that those cases were registered because those conventions were held in violation of the standard operating procedures issued by the home department.

The petitioner has claimed that those cases were registered during the “political victimisation” of PTI leaders by the government.

He added that FIRs were registered after the PTI held workers conventions in Mardan, Dir, Swabi, Kohat, and other districts in connection with the Feb 8 elections.

The petitioner said it was not a crime to hold and address peaceful political events, and he was allowed by the Constitution and the law to do so.

He claimed that the high court directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to provide a level playing field to all political parties, but authorities victimised PTI leaders and registered concocted cases against them.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2024

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