LHC rejects govt plea to cancel Capt Safdar’s bail

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday turned down a petition of Punjab government seeking cancellation of the bail of retired Capt Safdar Awan in a hate speech case.

Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmed Khan while hearing the government petition declared it non-maintainable.

Deputy Prosecutor General sought adjournment of the case hearing for the next date.

The bench however, denied the prosecution request and asked the government lawyer to present his arguments.

Deputy Prosecutor General argued that Capt Safdar Awan talked against the state institutions at the sessions court. His talk with the media was objectionable, he said.

“You are saying Capt Safdar Awan protested against the government,” the bench remarked. The government itself had staged protests then it should also be booked in a case,” the bench said.

Having no objection over the protest but it should remain within the boundary of the law, the state counsel responded. He was also engaged in scuffles with policemen during hearing of a case against Maryam Nawaz, the state counsel said.

The Punjab government had filed a petition challenging a lower court’s decision of granting bail to Safdar.

A state counsel contended before the court that the PML-N leader issued statements against state institutions, which were not only objectionable but fall within ambit of treason and thus, he is not entitled to bail.

He pleaded with the court to cancel the bail granted to Safdar and order his arrest.

On Oct 30 last year, a local court had approved the bail plea of retired captain Muhammad Safdar in the hate speech case. He was ordered to submit surety bonds worth Rs0.2 million.

Capt Safdar Awan was arrested by the police on the night of Oct 21 from the motorway on the charge of issuing provocative remarks allegedly inciting the public against the state.

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