ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has approved the two-day protective bail for Fawad Chaudhry, a senior leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, in all cases. The court has also barred the authorities from arresting him within the limits of the federal capital until May 17.
Earlier today, after being released on bail, Fawad Chaudhry hurriedly returned to the court premises to avoid potential arrest as the police made a move to detain him. As the PTI leader sat in his car, he noticed Anti-Terrorist Squad personnel approaching him. Reacting swiftly, he exited his car and sought refuge within the premises of the IHC, along with his lawyers.
Interestingly, the police attempted to arrest Fawad Chaudhry despite him providing an undertaking in the IHC stating that he would not violate Section 144 and participate in protests.
The petition for Fawad Chaudhry’s protective bail in all cases was heard by IHC Justice Mian Gul Hasan Aurangzeb. The court requested details of the case from the advocate general, who informed the court that two cases were registered against the PTI leader.
The IHC accepted Fawad’s bail petition and directed the relevant authorities to send a copy of the verdict to the Islamabad police chief via a “special messenger.”
Earlier in the day, the IHC had declared the arrest of PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry, Shireen Mazari, and Senator Falak Naz under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Ordinance (MPO) as “illegal.” The court issued orders for the release of the PTI leaders while hearing separate pleas.
During Fawad Chaudhry’s hearing, Islamabad Advocate General Barrister Jahangir Jadoon appeared before the single-judge bench. The advocate general highlighted that the copy of the court’s order had not been given to the IG office and law officers. He also mentioned that the biometric verification of the PTI leader had not been conducted.
The court rebuked the lawyer, stating that it was the court’s authority to determine whether the biometrics had been taken or not. The advocate general argued that Fawad Chaudhry had not been arrested in any case and that he would have been required to be presented in court if an arrest had been made.
The government lawyer argued that Fawad Chaudhry, through his conduct, had to prove whether he was a peaceful citizen or not. He further claimed that the incidents on May 9 had resulted in significant losses for the nation.
In response, Justice Aurangzeb remarked that the court had not barred the authorities from taking action regarding those incidents. The court questioned the advocate general about who had advised that the arrest could be made under the MPO.
The advocate general stated that no one had advised them, but they were unaware of the court order against the arrest. He then presented a tweet by Fawad Chaudhry, posted on May 10, in which the PTI leader allegedly incited workers to join the protests.
Babar Awan, the PTI lawyer, argued that the deputy commissioner should have known about the high court’s order regarding the arrest by now. He requested the court to extend its order, preventing the authorities from arresting Fawad, and to allow his client time to contact the relevant court.