Punjab Advocate General (AAG) Chaudhry Muhammad Jawad Yaqub on Wednesday told the Lahore High Court (LHC) that PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry — who was arrested earlier today for “inciting violence against a constitutional institution” — was in the custody of the Islamabad police.
The revelation was made as LHC’s Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh took up a petition challenging Fawad’s arrest.
At the outset of the hearing today, Justice Sheikh instructed the police to present Fawad in court by 1:30pm.
However, when the proceedings resumed at 2pm, AAG Yaqub said that he was not in the position to tell where Fawad was.
On the other hand, PTI lawyer Azhar Siddique told the court that they had just learnt that Fawad was being taken to Islamabad.
“The orders that I give, I make sure they are implemented,” Justice Sheikh said here. “Even if he [Fawad] has reached Islamabad, bring him back and present him before the court.”
In his response, the AAG said that he will ensure that the court’s orders were executed and sought some time.
Subsequently, the hearing was adjourned for 30 minutes.
When it resumed, the judge inquired: “Where is Fawad?”
The AAG replied that Fawad was in the custody of the Islamabad police after which Justice Sheikh summoned the inspector generals of Islamabad and Punjab to court.
“The IGs of Islamabad and Punjab should appear in the court by 6pm,” he said and instructed the LHC registrar to immediately communicate the orders to them.
PTI claims Fawad being taken to Islamabad
Meanwhile, in a tweet, PTI leader Hammad Azhar claimed that Fawad was being transported to Islamabad via the motorway “in clear defiance of the high court’s orders”.
Farrukh Habib shared a video which, according to him, was from the Kala Shah Kaku interchange. In the video, he can be seen trying to stop the convoy that was taking Chaudhry. He can be seen repeatedly was also shouting “obey the orders of the court” and banging the hood of a pickup.
Habib could also be seen yelling at one of the passengers inside the pickup. He was then stopped by law enforcement officials and at one point attempted to stop the car from moving by coming in front of it.
In his tweet, Habib alleged that the law enforcers shot at him.
Cantt court grants police Fawad’s transit remand
At 10am, Fawad was brought to Lahore’s Cantt court by officials of the Punjab Counter Terrorism Department and police. Upon his entrance, PTI lawyers showered rose petals on Fawad
.Talking to the media outside the court, Fawad said that those who arrested him should be ashamed of themselves.
“They have deployed so much police as if they are escorting James Bond,” he said, adding that the police kept him in the “category of terrorists”.
As the hearing began, the investigating officer requested the court to grant Islamabad police the PTI leader’s transit remand.
For his part, Fawad asked the judge to provide him with a copy of the FIR registered against him. He went on to say that he was proud of the charges against him. “These allegations were also levelled at Nelson Mandela.”
“It is being said that I have committed sedition […] I am a former Supreme Court lawyer and federal minister […] I should be treated with respect,” he told the court.
The PTI leader said that the way he was arrested was “inappropriate”. “Had they called me, I would have come myself.”
Commenting on his remarks against the ECP, he said that “the entire country is saying the same”.
Meanwhile, Fawad’s lawyer said a habeas corpus petition — a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention — filed by Fawad was pending in the Lahore High Court. “Until a decision is taken on that, a transit remand can’t be granted.”
Here, the judicial magistrate instructed the police to conduct a medical examination of Fawad at the Lahore Services Hospital and present him before a court in Islamabad today.