ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday directed the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to apprise the court before arresting human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari in any case.
A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb issued the directions while hearing of former federal minister Shireen Mazari’s petition seeking bail for her daughter Imaan Mazari and the list of cases against her daughter. During the hearing, the authorities were directed to inform the court in advance before arresting the human rights lawyer in any FIR registered against her. Additional Attorney General (AAG) Munawar Iqbal Duggal informed the court that they had already written to the provinces after the last hearing, seeking details of the FIR(s). He added that they had also faxed and asked them on WhatsApp as well. The AAG further stated that the petitioner should not make such statements.
At this, the IHC bench said that they were dealing with the case, reiterating that the court should be informed about any FIR. He further said, “We are disposing of the case. If there is any [new] FIR, then you will inform the court.” In her petition, Imaan’s mother had sought “protective omnibus bail” to allow her daughter to approach the relevant court for “bail before arrest and take part in the investigation”.
She cited the state, the Inspector General (IG) of Islamabad police, senior superintendent of police, Adiala Jail superintendent and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as respondents in the case.
She had requested the IHC to issue directives barring the respondents and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from “arresting, harassing or restricting” Imaan’s liberty and from taking any adverse measure for a period determined by the IHC. The petition also requested the IHC to direct the respondents to provide details of all cases registered against the petitioner in Islamabad and the rest of the country. It argued that Imaan had been “arrested and re-arrested again and faced the uncertain apprehension of arrest on account of other unknown FIRs”. “This factum and treatment meted out to her despite the continuation of formal court procedures gravely endangers her fundamental rights,” it asserted.
It further stated that the police had “mechanically arrested and re-arrested Imaan without ascertaining if her detention serves any purpose to furthering the investigation, especially where two courts have already granted her bail”. The petition mentioned a previous verdict wherein, it said, the court had ruled that “no separate FIR is to be recorded for any new version of the same incident”.