ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has indicted Deputy Commissioner (DC) Irfan Nawaz Memon and three police officials in a contempt case related to the detention of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Shehryar Afridi and Shandana Gulzar under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance. These officials stand accused of abusing their authority.
The police personnel in question are Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jameel Zafar, Superintendent (SP) Farooq Buttar, and Station House Officer (SHO) Nasir Manzoor.
On August 16, the IHC suspended the detention orders of the PTI leaders and ordered their immediate release. Afridi and Gulzar had been detained in connection with the May 9 riots, which erupted following the arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan earlier in the year.
During today’s proceedings, IHC Justice Babar Sattar presided over the case, during which DC Memon and SSP Zafar submitted their responses. The Islamabad Advocate General, Ayaz Shaukat, also appeared as the prosecutor and offered an unconditional apology on behalf of the accused. In response, Justice Sattar suggested that the “accused should spend some time in jail to understand the gravity of their actions.”
DC Memon and SSP Zafar pleaded not guilty to the charges and also issued unconditional apologies, although Justice Sattar reminded them that this case could result in a maximum sentence of six months in jail.
Furthermore, Lawyer Qaiser Imam was appointed as the prosecutor for the case by the IHC.
Afridi was initially arrested under Section 3 of the MPO Ordinance, 1960, on May 16 from his residence in Islamabad. Despite a release order, he was promptly re-arrested under the same section on May 30.
On August 3, the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench granted him bail. However, his freedom was short-lived as Rawalpindi police once again took him into custody after his release from Adiala jail. Following this arrest, Afridi’s lawyer filed a plea in the IHC, seeking his release and the revocation of the MPO order.