IHC dismisses PTI chairman’s bail plea in cipher case

ISLAMABAD, Oct 27 (Alliance News): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday dismissed the post-arrest bail petition of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman in the cipher case registered under the Official Secrets Act.

The court also rejected his request to quash the first information report registered against him in connection with the cipher.

 

 

Chief Justice Aamer Farooq pronounced the verdict which was reserved on October 16, after hearing arguments. The special court formed under the Official Secrets Act had earlier already rejected the bail plea of PTI chairman.

The IHC, in its written order, declared both the petitions of PTI chairman PTI as “without merit” and “accordingly dismissed”.

The verdict said, “It is clarified that any observations, made hereinabove, are tentative in nature and shall not prejudice learned trial court during the trial.”

It stated that the petitioner had the “efficacious and alternate remedy by way of moving an appropriate application” under section 249-A (power of magistrate to acquit accused at any stage) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

“Moreover, the petitioner is co-accused in the case and even if the arguments advanced for quashment of FIR on his behalf are accepted, FIR cannot be quashed in as much as there are other co-accused and there cannot be a partial quashing of FIR,” it added.

The court said it showed that the “contents of cipher were such that they only called for demarche and not any further strict action, as there was no conspiracy of any kind”.

The verdict said the PTI chairman, “when addressed the public gathering, was not doing so pursuant to the performance of his duties as prime minister, rather it was a political engagement”.

It further stated,“The case law cited by the petitioner for grant of bail in the facts and circumstances is not relevant in as much as undoubtedly the evidence is all documentary but according to the prosecution, the copy of cipher is still in custody of the petitioner and where allegations are serious and prima facie link the accused with the commission of the offence, bail is to be denied in case of Official Secrets Act, 1923.”

The PTI chairman had also challenged the indictment proceedings in the cipher case in the IHC, which was dismissed as well previously. The IHC had rejected the request to stop the trial.

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