IHC makes mandatory for LEAs to inform court before arresting Imaan Mazari

AAG says provinces asked to inform centre about any case registered against Mazari

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”.

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