LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday withdrew bailable warrants for arrest of fashion designer Khadija Shah after she appeared in Jinnah House attack trial proceedings, however, issued her warrants in another case of the May 9 riots.

Ms Shah, along with her lawyer, appeared before the court after issuance of her warrants for skipping trial hearings.

The designer assured the court that she would appear at each hearing of the case without fail.

Judge Arshad Javed canceled bailable arrest warrants of Ms Shah who left after the hearing in the Jinnah House attack was adjourned. However, she did not attend the hearing of the Askari Tower case and the judge issued her bailable arrest warrants for April 17 (today).

Ms Shah, a granddaughter of former army chief Asif Nawaz Janjua, was released from jail last year following bail in all the May 9 cases against her.

Separately, police produced former governor Umar Sarfraz Cheema and the former provincial minister Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed before the court in the Jinnah House case.

The court was informed that former MNA Aliya Hamza and social media activist Sanam Javed could not be presented as they were in Sargodha jail.

The judge adjourned the hearing till April 29.

Police barred from arresting Fawad

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday restrained the police from arresting former federal minister Fawad Chaudhry for a week, allowing him to secure pre-arrest bail from the trial courts in the May 9 cases against him.

Earlier, Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Anwar told the court that 40 cases were registered against Mr Fawad in different police stations of the province.

The IGP said the petitioner had been discharged in four of the cases, but did not secured pre-arrest bail in the remaining ones.

“Will you give him (Fawad) an opportunity to file interim bail,” Justice Aalia Neelum asked the IGP, who replied: “Yes, we will.”

An additional advocate general, however, said if Mr Fawad got this relief, the murder and robbery suspects would also demand it in future.

“We will provide relief to whoever comes to us,” the judge remarked. The judge asked the law officer that the government made the issue too political.

The judge allowed one-week time to Mr Fawad to approach the relevant courts for interim bail in the 36 cases registered against him.

The IGP assured the court that the police would not arrest the petitioner until he approached the courts concerned for the bail.

CJP: Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa on Tuesday visited Lahore High Court Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan during his first official visit to Punjab capital after becoming the top judge of the country.

Senior most judge of the Supreme Court Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Justice Athar Minallah also accompanied the chief justice.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2024

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