ISLAMABAD -  The Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain a constitutional petition of a politician against his detention under Anti-Terrorism Act on account of posting alleged threatening post on social media against a senior civil judge, who was working as returning officer in general elections 2018.

The petitioner Khadim Mazari of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), presently confined in Shikarpur Prison under the ATA, had requested the top court to issue directions for transfer of his case to Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) or any other province because his bail application before the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) was not being taken up for hearing due to the alleged influence of Senior Civil Judge Muhammad Chandio.

Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed in-chamber heard the top court’s registrar objections on the constitutional petition. The petition made ATC Kandhkot and Senior Civil Judge Chandio, who was RO in constituency PS-04, as respondents.

Advocate Ghulam Sajjad Gopang on behalf of the petitioner Mazari appeared before Justice Saeed. According to Mazari’s petition, he contested General Election 2018 as a covering candidate for the National Assembly from constituency NA-197 Kashmore, Sindh.

It stated that Mazari posted the results of the constituency on his social media page, as an enthusiastic supporter of the returned candidate.

It further stated that some political opponents got screen shot of the post and edited the original post by adopting modern computer techniques and used intimidating and immoral language against the rival candidates, their supporters and even against the RO.

“After that, the same culprit sent the edited post to Muhammad Chandio, Senior Civil Judge/Returning Officer PS-04, to provoke him against the petitioner (Mazari),” the petition added.

It was further stated that the senior civil judge got offended with the alleged tempered posts and without hearing Mazari’s version directed District Police Officer (DPO) Kashmore to take legal action by registering a case against Mazari under section ATA.

The petition stated that the police registered FIR on July 28 at Police Station Kashmore after allegedly receiving the instructions of the senior civil judge.

The said act of police did not fulfil legal procedure as it was mandatory for the police to get assistance from Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cyber Crime, the petition stated.

The petition added that FIA Cyber Crime Wing was equipped with technical expertise to check whether the said post was real or fake and that the case was pure example of abuse of process of law without fulfilling the legal procedure.

The petitioner claimed that DPO Kashmore sent a letter to Deputy Director FIA Sukkur on July 30, 2018 and in response, the Cyber Crime Circle Karachi sent its initial report advising that the equipment/cell phone of the Mazari was sent to forensic expert for detailed analysis.

The report of FIA proved that FIR was lodged in haste and without proper probe, it claimed.

It further claimed that the Assistant Prosecutor General while scrutinising the record of FIR suggested that offences mentioned in the FIR did not fall within the ambit of Section 6/7 ATA and directed to withdraw the case from ATA.

The local police, however, arrested Mazari on the same date and kept him in illegal detention under the alleged influence of judicial officer. After severalA days, the police produced him before the court, the petition stated.

It was submitted that Mazari was innocent and had been roped in the case allegedly on the instructions of senior civil judge who had been misled by the political opponents.

Resultantly, they succeeded to use the office of senior civil judge to settle their political grudge with the petitioner, the petition stated.

Mazari moved a bail petition before the ATC Kandhkot Sindh, which has been pending since the last two months. ATC is not deciding the bail petition which is denial of the justice in other words, the petition added.

It was submitted that the case of the petitioner was of great hardships who was suffering for the acts which he had not done.

During the hearing, Gopang prayed the top court to set aside the objections of registrar and accept the petition, seeking transfer of the case pending at the ATC Kashmore to the ICT or Punjab or in any other province for fair and complete justice.

However, the judge ruled that aggrieved person might approach relevant forum of the Sindh High Court (SHC).