Islamabad (Web Desk): The Islambad High Court (IHC) indicted Deputy Commissioner (DC) Islamabad and three police officials for contempt of court in a case related to extending the detention of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Shehryar Afridi and Shandana Gulzar under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) ordinance.
Justice Babar Sattar of the IHC presided the hearing and indicted DC Islamabad Irfan Nawaz Memon, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) operations Jamil Zafar, Superintendent of Police (SP) Farooq Buttar and Margalla Station House Officer (SHO) Naseer Manzoor.
A day earlier, the IHC also stripped Islamabad’s district magistrate of his powers to detain suspects under the MPO while hearing the same case and also issued show-cause notices to the police officials for “criminal contempt of court for abuse of authority to obstruct dispensation of justice and cause diversion to the course of justice”.
At the hearing today, DC Memon and SSP Zafar submitted their replies. Islamabad Advocate General Ayaz Shaukat also appeared before the court as prosecutor.
DC Memon and SSP Zafar pleaded not guilty to the charges and also apologized unconditionally to the court. However, Justice Sattar reminded them that this case carried a maximum sentence of six months of jail time.
Shaukat offered an unconditional apology to the court on behalf of the accused. Justice Sattar said that how can court not file charges, while the contempt of court case is going on here, you are still issuing the MPO orders. The court rejected the advocate general's plea and said that the “accused should spend some time in jail to understand the gravity of their actions”.
Justice Sattar read out the SSP’s indictment order and charged him with the offence, which he denied. At this, the IHC asked him if he wished to defend himself, for which he requested more time from the court.
Similarly, SP Buttar and SHO Manzoor were also indicted for contempt of court, with them denying the charges as well, the hearing was adjourned and court appointed Lawyer Qaiser Imam as prosecutor in the case.
The PTI leaders leaders were held by police for their alleged involvement in May 9 violence. Afridi was first arrested from his Islamabad residence under Section 3 of the MPO Ordinance, 1960, on May 16. Gulzar was taken into custody on August 9.
On August 16, the IHC allowed Afridi and Gulzar to be released and decided to indict the DC and SSP for contempt after deeming their responses to the court as “unsatisfactory”.