ISLAMABAD   -    The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday acquitted Irfan Siddiqui, a close aide to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, in a case pertaining to the violation of tenancy law.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of Siddiqui’s petition seeking quashment of an FIR registered against him  for not informing the relevant police station about particulars of ‘his tenant’ and acquitted him after reviewing a written order from Assistant Commissioner (AC) Shalimar dated November 20.

During the hearing of the petition, the police submitted the AC’s order before the court.

In the order, the AC had cleared Irfan and had said that perusal of the documents submitted by the police revealed that the house belonged to his son Imran Khawar Siddiqui.

The order further said that the lease agreement was between Imran and his tenant Jawed Iqbal.

The AC’s written order said, “Both these facts suggest that Irfanul Haq Siddiqui had no onus to disclose the name of the tenant to the officer incharge [of the] police station.” It added, “It would be a futile exercise to proceed further.”

In July, Irfan was arrested by the Islamabad police during a raid on his residence for not informing the police who he was allegedly renting out his house to, a requirement under the tenancy law.

He was presented before a magistrate who sent him to Adiala jail on a 14-day judicial remand on a request from the police. The same magistrate granted him bail the next day.

At the time, Irfan had said that the house in question belonged to his son and was rented out a few days before the police’s raid.

In August 2019, Irfan filed a petition in IHC for the quashment of the case lodged against him.

Siddiqui moved the court through his counsel and cited Station House Officer (SHO) Ramna Police Station, ASI Sagheer Ahmed, district magistrate and Assistant commissioner as respondents.

He stated in his petition that the concerned SHO and the ASI with the connivance and malafide of district magistrate and the AC registered a false, frivolous and baseless FIR under section 188 PPC against him just to defame, scandalize and victimize the petitioner while they publically handcuffed him at the time of arrest in a derogatory manner.

He added that the registration of case against the petitioner and entire subsequent proceedings on the face of it are textbook example of colourable exercise of jurisdiction on the part of government functionaries.

Irfan contended that the allegation against him in the FIR is that he rented out in violation of order of district magistrate Islamabad whereas the petitioner is neither owner nor landlord of the said house which is exclusively owned by his son Imran Khawar.

He alleged that the respondents at behest of influential political figures who are in power, with intention to crush and victimize their opponents purely on political considerations, used clout and abused their authority as device for dragging them in frivolous cases.

The petitioner maintained that the act of respondents is illegal, unauthorized and is result of malafide and criminal machinery is being used as a device to victimize him.

Therefore, he prayed that his petition may be accepted and the said FIR registered under section 188 PPC may graciously be quashed. He also requested that till the final disposal of petition, operation of the impugned FIR or any proceedings surfaced from the same may be suspended.