Islamabad: Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain of Special Court set up under the Secret Act Thursday accepted the pre-arrest bail appeal of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar in cypher case.
During the hearing on the petitions related to bail of PTI chairman Imran Khan and vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi and the pre-arrest bail of Asad Umar by the PTI lawyers, the assistant counsel Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) requested that special prosecutors should appear in Supreme Court. Therefore, the hearing should be fixed at 12 o'clock.
PTI lawyer said the special prosecutor himself said to start the hearing at 10:00 am. If the fee is not paid, it is not our fault.
Judge Abul Hasnat, talking to the assistant counsel FIA, asked to invite a special prosecutor, others will also come.
Secret Court Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain rejected the request of FIA Prosecutor Zulfiqar Naqvi to hold the hearing at 12 noon and allowed the PTI lawyers to present their arguments in the absence of Special Prosecutors while Special Prosecutors Zulfiqar Naqvi and Rizwan Abbasi left the courtroom.
PTI lawyer Salman Safdar stated: “The bail appeal of cypher case would take maximum 45 minutes,” while the assistant counsel of special prosecutors again reached the courtroom and requested for a break in the hearing, to which the judge said, “When you are free, PTI lawyers are not free,” hearing on bail plea will be held today.
Salman Safdar added that there are three different special prosecutors, we should be allowed to give arguments. On which the judge said, “I want PTI lawyers and special prosecutors to give arguments, I will definitely give arguments on bail application today”.
The judge continued to say that he will listen, if the prosecution does not give arguments today, he will reserve the verdict on bail application.
Lawyer Babar Awan said Asad Umar has been included in the investigation in writing, while Asad Umar also came to the rostrum and said: “I myself have written a letter to FIA and asked them to tell when and where to come for the included investigation”.
Babar Awan further stated that Asad Umar was not directly named in cypher case. His bail plea was filed on August 22, it has been a year since the investigation of cypher started in March this year.
The assistant counsel of the special prosecutors objected to investigation involving Asad Umar, while the judge said, “I will not hear today, sorry, there will be arguments on the bail application”.
Assistant counsel further added that Asad should have come to FIA himself, the investigating officer should not have come to them, and the investigation on Asad Umar's role in Cypher case has yet to be completed.
The judge of secret court said due to one bail, other bails could not be heard. On which the assistant counsel for prosecution stated that PTI leader Asad Umar was to be submitted to the investigating officer after submitting the papers.
Asad Umar said: “FIA called twice, last year in December and recently and conducted an investigation for one or two hours”.
The former Federal Minister said the political revenge is being taken, on which Judge Abul Hasanat stated that if Asad Umar wants to be investigated in the courtroom, then do it, the hearing will not be postponed.
I will decide on the applications of Asad Umar, Chairman PTI and Shah Mahmood today, give as many petitions as you want, I will announce the verdicts on all the pleas today.
The assistant counsel of special prosecutors requested to hear the arguments on the three bails together. To which the judge said two bail and one pre-arrest pleas will be heard separately. Tell the court if Asad Umar's role is not directly named then why he is involved in the case?
Special prosecutor FIA Shah Khawar reached the court room and intervened during the arguments of lawyer Salman Safdar and said: “Arrest is not required in Asad Umar's case yet, there is no evidence against him. But if the arguments are to be heard, it is the will of court, if any evidence is found during the investigation, Asad Umar will be informed”.
Lawyer Babar Awan requested that bail should be confirmed if FIA does not have evidence, upon which Judge Zulqarnain started writing the decision in the open court on Asad Umar's bail appeal.
The judge stated that according to the prosecution, there is still no evidence against Asad Umar. If arrest is required, FIA will proceed according to law and will inform Asad Umar first.
The Secret Court confirmed Asad Umar's bail against a bond of Rs50,000.
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