ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday sought an explanation from the local magistrate for including sedition charges in the first information report (FIR) which was registered against the protesters demanding to release the detained Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader Manzoor Pashteen in a sit-in outside the Press Club.
As the hearing went underway, the court was told that Islamabad City Magistrate Ghulam Murtaza Chandio ordered to register an FIR against the 23 protesters, which included the activists of PTM and Awami Workers Party (AWP).
To which, the Justice Minallah by expressing anger questioned, Whats this? How can someone place sedition charges against the peaceful protesters and later convert those into terrorism charges.
At which, the court was informed that the authorities have dropped terrorism charges from the registered FIR against the protesters.
Justice Minallah in his remarks said, “Today you are informing the court that terrorism charges have also been dropped.
“Why shouldnt we start proceedings against the one who ordered to register a case against the peaceful protesters? The magistrate should appear in court and tell us why he gave such orders,” said Justice Minallah.
Later on, the IHC CJ proceeded to order that the said magistrate should submit a sworn affidavit and explanation into the court.
“How about we take away judicial powers from the magistrate?” Justice Minallah added.
Chief Justice IHC, once again ordered the Islamabad Chief Commissioner and the Police Chief to appear in the court on the next hearing.
The court by concluding the remarks said, We will turn this case into an example for everyone, and adjourned the hearing till February 17.