LAHORE          -       The Lahore High Court on Monday rejected a petition of the provincial government seeking cancellation of bail previously granted to Capt (retired) Safdar Awan in a hate speech case.

Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmed Khan while hearing the government petition declared it non-maintainable. Deputy Prosecutor General sought adjournment of the case hearing for the next date. The bench however, denied the prosecution request and asked the government lawyer to present his arguments.

Deputy Prosecutor General argued that Capt Safdar Awan talked against the state institutions at the sessions’ court. His talk with the media was objectionable, he said. “You are saying Capt Safdar Awan protested against the government,” the bench remarked. The government itself had staged protests then it should also be booked in a case,” the bench said.

Having no objection over the protest but it should remain within the boundary of the law, the state counsel responded. He was also engaged in scuffles with policemen during hearing of a case against Maryam Nawaz, the state counsel said. The Punjab government had filed a petition challenging a lower court’s decision of granting bail to Safdar.

A state counsel contended before the court that the PML-N leader issued statements against state institutions, which were not only objectionable but fall within ambit of treason and thus, he is not entitled to bail. He pleaded with the court to cancel the bail granted to Safdar and order his arrest.

On Oct 30 last year, a local court had approved the bail plea of retired captain Muhammad Safdar in the hate speech case. He was ordered to submit surety bonds worth Rs0.2 million. Capt Safdar Awan was arrested by the police on the night of Oct 21 from the motorway on the charge of issuing provocative remarks allegedly inciting the public against the state.

Indian man arrested over fake CNIC seeks bail

An Indian citizen arrested over possessing a fake Computerised National Identity Card from Gujranwala district on Monday approached the Lahore High Court with a bail plea.

As per details, Mohammad Bilal aka Panjum Tiwari, who was living in Gujranwala, submitted a bail plea in the Lahore court, making Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as a respondent in the case.

In his application filed with the top court of the Punjab province, the accused said that he was not involved in any criminal activity and therefore the court shall order his release on bail.

According to the FIR registered against him, the accused-living in Pakistan for a decade- was intercepted by the authorities in August 2019 and remained failed in proving his identity. During the probe, it was revealed that he was a resident of Indian city of Banaras.

“His real name revealed during the probe was Panjum Tiwari,” the report said adding that a co-accused in the case Kamran Masood facilitated him to shift to Pakistan.

An FIA official said after the arrest that Tiwari entered Pakistan illegally ten years ago and has been residing in the country ever since. Amir Nawaz informed that Pancham Tiwari and Kamran, a resident of Gujranwala, became friends in 2009 after which Tiwari entered Pakistan illegally and managed to get a National Identity Card under a pseudonym.

The arrested Indian national was living in Gujranwala and had married Kamran’s sister. A fake identity of the accused was created with the help of NADRA officials, the FIR reads.