A court in Islamabad on Wednesday rejected the request by the police for an extension in Shahbaz Gill’s physical remand and sent the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader to prison on judicial remand.
Judicial Magistrate Malik Aman rejected the seven-day extension request by the police as the physical remand of Imran Khan’s chief of staff expired on Wednesday.
Gill’s counsel, Faisal Chaudhry, informed the court that he planned to get a power of attorney signed today, to which the judge informed him that it had already been signed earlier.
The judge inquired about Gill’s presence in the court at the beginning of the hearing, to which Chaudhry informed that his client has not reached the premises yet, and asked whether he should proceed with his arguments.
The judge in response queried about the case file, saying before the arguments begin, comments written in the document by the investigating officer need to be seen.
Following Gill’s arrival, Special Prosecutor Raja Rizwan Abbasi presented his arguments for an extension in the physical remand period of the accused.
He noted that the police needed Gill in custody to conduct a polygraph test after a separate case was registered against him for possession of unlicensed firearms.
Moreover, he argued that Gill’s Parliament Lodges’ room was searched during his two-day physical remand during which phones and four USBs were recovered and the police need to question the accused regarding the confiscated items.
He added that the primary cell phone that Gill used has yet to be recovered and the polygraph test needs to be conducted in Lahore.
The judge asked if a request for a polygraph test was not already made during Gill’s previous remand hearing. The special prosecutor replied that it was not requested during the last hearing, but in the hearing prior which was suspended.
The judge noted that a polygraph test was to be conducted in Islamabad on August 22 as per court orders.
Prosecutor Abbasi clarified that it could be carried out in the federal capital. He added that while the police have made progress in the probe, the entire investigation is not yet complete as certain aspects are still to be covered and Gill needs to be interrogated as well.
He further argued that the investigation’s progress was ‘in front of everyone’ and a separate case was also filed against Gill during this period.
After the hearing, Gill’s lawyer Chaudhry spoke to the media and said a bail application will be filed immediately for the PTI leader’s release, adding that the entire case against him was based on ‘nothing but lies’.
Chaudhry added that ‘custodial torture’ needs to be discouraged by all and everyone needs to stand up against it.
He also brought up the custodial torture bill, that has been pending with a standing committee, saying the government needs to approve it.
Gill was arrested on August 9, after registration of a sedition case at the Kohsar police station of the federal capital over his controversial remarks against military. He was produced before the judicial magistrate the next day and on August 12, he was sent to jail on judicial remand.