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SC issues notice to Centre in Shahbaz Gill’s torture plea

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  • Justice Ijazul Ahsan tells PTI to approach relevant forum against torture allegations.
  • Rebukes Gill’s lawyer for being unaware of procedure and purpose of physical remand.
  • Orders IO to present case record while adjourning hearing till indefinite period.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Friday issued a notice to the federal government in a case pertaining to the physical remand of senior PTI leader Shahbaz Gill in a sedition case and allegation of torture.

The PTI had levelled allegations of torture and sexual abuse meted out to Gill during his physical remand at Adiala jail, Rawalpindi. The party claimed that Gill was tortured and abused during custody, demanding that the matter be probed.

Gill was in police custody since his arrest in the sedition case on August 9 for allegedly inciting mutiny within the military’s ranks. However, he was granted bail just yesterday (Thursday) by the Islamabad High Court following his multiple attempts to get released on bail. 

Today’s hearing

At the outset of the hearing of PTI’s plea by a three-member bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Gill’s lawyer Salman Safdar contended that the court trying his client exceeded its authority.

“There is no example of torture meted out to Shahbaz Gill,” he said.

Justice Mazahir Akbar Naqvi inquired what the basis was of the case against Gill and what did he say.

Responding to the query, Safdar said that Gill made a speech for which he was charged under 13 sections.

At this, Justice Naqvi corrected him by saying that it wasn’t a speech but Gill made remarks during an interview on a private TV channel. He also rebuked the lawyer for being unaware of the procedure and purpose of a physical remand.

‘Relevant forum should be approached for torture allegations’

The justice inquired if PTI has approached a relevant forum against the alleged torture on Gill.

“You have to approach the relevant forum. What has restrained you from doing that?” the justice asked.

“Shahbaz Gill’s remand into police custody was the most controversial remand in the country’s history,” Safdar maintained, adding that a judge even stated in the order that torture marks were found on Gill’s body.

At this, Justice Naqvi asked if the judge would appear before the court as a witness.

“Does the criminal code apply to the Supreme Court?” Justice Naqvi asked. At this, Gill’s lawyer responded in the positive.

Masha’Allah lawyer sahib, the Criminal Code doesn’t apply to the apex court,” Justice Naqvi said sarcastically.

Later, the court directed the investigation officer to appear in the court with a case record and adjourned the hearing for an indefinite period.

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The PPP promises the government will support the budget vote.

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Insiders state that the PPP will support the budget despite expressing reservations about it.

As previously stated, the party leaders had not yet decided whether to support or oppose the federal budget that the administration will be announcing today.

Leading figures have reportedly reached a resolution over the dispute between two parties that are allies.

In order to have the budget approved, the People’s Party will give the PML-N its whole support. Sources stated that the PPP would back the budget’s adoption “in spite of protests and speeches in committee.”

The administration promised the PPP that some of its recommendations would be included in the budget, according to sources. Voting supporting the PML-N budget is a quid pro quo commitment made by the PPP leadership.

For assistance in passing the budget, the PML-N had asked the PPP.

The PPP has not yet decided whether to accept or oppose the budget, according to PPP leader Nayya Bukhari.

The forthcoming yearly budget for 2024–25 and the state of the nation’s economy as a whole were the topics of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari’s Tuesday meeting.

The meeting was also attended by Professor Ahsan Iqbal, the Federal Minister for Planning and Special Initiatives, a press statement from the President’s House stated.

The protection of low-income and middle-class interests in the annual budget is a priority, as highlighted by President Zardari. Along with pledging his support for fiscal benchmarks to be met, he also gave the prime minister assurances on national development.

The next budget’s proposed development projects were also discussed by President Zardari and Prime Minister Shehbaz. He told the president about his recent five-day travel to China, the prime minister said.

On June 12th, or today, the federal government will unveil its budget for the fiscal year 2024–25.

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PM Shehbaz will preside over today’s federal cabinet meeting.

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We will talk about the political and economic state of the nation on Tuesday, or today.

The meeting, which will take place in the prime minister’s office, will be facilitated by the prime minister.

As per insiders, the prime minister is expected to reassure the cabinet on his recent trip to China. The meeting will also include a discussion of the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The decisions made at the sessions of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) are expected to be ratified by the cabinet as well, according to sources.

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Today, the IHC will hear the petitions of Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi in the matter of an illegal marriage.

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Imran Khan, the founder of PTI, and his wife Bushra Bibi will present their cases in an illegal marriage lawsuit before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) today, Tuesday.

At the hearing will be IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. Regarding both petitions, the registrar’s office has previously voiced objections.

Bushra Bibi has appealed in her petition that the high court to take note of a matter that is still ongoing in the sessions court about the suspension of her sentence in an illegal marriage case.

In his appeal, PTI founder argued that the District and Sessions Judge Shahrukh Arjumand should be ordered by the high court to announce the case’s reserved ruling.

Through Khalid Yousaf Chaudhry and Barrister Salman Safdar, Bushra Bibi’s attorneys, filed the petition.

The petition was moved in the interim on Imran Khan’s behalf by attorney Salman Akram Raja.

Notably, on February 3, a civil court condemned Imran Khan, the founder of the Pakistan Terrorist Organization, and Bushra Bibi to seven years in prison for their illegal marriage.

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