The Islamabad High Court is to indict the federal capital’s deputy commissioner (DC) and senior superintendent of police (SSP) operations on August 28 for arresting Shehryar Afridi in cases pertaining to Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) despite court orders, it emerged on Saturday.
The IHC also asked the Islamabad inspector-general of police (IGP) to reveal the names of the relevant officers who gave the ‘source report’ on the basis of which Afridi was arrested.
Issuing the written order for contempt of court case against DC Irfan Memon and Operations SSP Jameel Zafar, Justice Babar Sattar stated that the replies submitted by the two and the district court magistrate on show cause notice issued over Afridi’s arrest were unsatisfactory.
The court observed that the high court had annulled the MPO against Afridi in June but the district magistrate issued another order based on a ‘source report’ illegally. It further noted that once the MPO issued by the Rawalpindi DC expired, another MPO was issued by the Islamabad DC.
The court observed that prima facie it appears that the Islamabad DC violated the orders of this court. The DC belittled the justice system by implying that court orders are not binding for the city administration, noted Justice Sattar, adding that the district magistrate could submit another reply elaborating on the matter if he so wishes.
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The court further observed that SSP Operations also violated the IHC’s orders and appeared to have treated a ‘source report’ as ‘rubber stamped’.
Justice Sattar noted that the incumbent station house officer (SHO) and deputy police officer (DPO) of the relevant police station informed the court that they assumed charge on August 8.
The IHC directed the federal capital’s IGP to inform the court of the SHO and DPO who gave the ‘source report’ in question.
The court issued show cause notices to the relevant officials and sought replies by the next hearing.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Afridi and Shandana Gulzar were detained on May 16 during a massive crackdown against the former ruling party. The authorities had launched the crackdown after alleged PTI supporters vandalized and set fire to state and army properties and memorials in retaliation to party chief Imran Khan’s arrest on May 9.
Ordering their release on August 16, the court had observed that prima facie it appeared that the detention order issued by a district magistrate had no basis in law.
It also appears, the court said, that the detention orders issued in Punjab, the KP and Islamabad had been synchronized in such a way that before or at the time of expiry, withdrawal or setting aside of a detention order, a subsequent order was issued like clockwork to keep the petitioner in detention.
At the hearing on August 16, the court had allowed the state time to submit its reply over the repeated detention of Afridi.