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Fawad Chaudhry gets bail in ‘Incitement Case’

ISLAMABAD: PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry is granted bail in ‘inciting violence against ECP’ case, after an Islamabad district and sessions court accepted his bail petition on the condition that he would not repeat any such words that can incite violence against a constitutional institution.

Conditional Bail

After the investigation officer presented the case’s record, the judge accepted the bail plea and said, “Parliamentarians should not give such statements. Fawad Chaudhry should not have given such a statement.

Additional Sessions Judge Faizan Haider Gillani granted bail to the PTI leader today against Rs20,000 worth of surety bonds.

“I am granting the bail on the condition that Fawad Chaudhry does not repeat such remarks.”

the Case: inciting violence against ECP

A first information report (FIR) was registered against PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry at Islamabad’s Kohsar police station on a complaint from Secretary ECP Umar Hameed.

Chaudhry was taken into custody on Jan 25 for allegedly “inciting violence against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), a constitutional institution”.

The counsels

Fawad’s legal counsels Faisal Chaudhry, Babar Awan and Ali Bukhari were present in the court while Saad Hassan presented arguments as the ECP’s representative.

The hearing

Babar Awan, at the start of the hearing argued that merely telling someone that one would take action against them did not equate a threat. The counsel added that the relevant article of the Constitution related to rebellion was “being given a political angle”. He stated that “Fawad Chaudhry is being named in a false case”

At this, the judge inquired, “What does Fawad Chaudhry mean by saying ‘to accompany them to their homes?”. The judge asked Awan to read out the allegation against Fawad.

Grievances, stereotypes and Admonishment

Fawad’s counsel replied that in the past a female politician had been branded “tractor and trolley”. He was possibly referring to remarks made against PTI leader Shireen Mazari by PML-N’s Khawaja Asif in 2016.

The judge responded, “What does it mean to talk about the families? You are aware of Pakistan’s literacy rate and what it means for a politician to say such things?”

Is clerk a derogatory term ?

The prosecutor remarked, “Freedom of speech does not mean to vilify a personality. An ECP employee was termed a clerk.”

To this, the judge replied, “Did any lawyer object to the label of being a clerk? Why is the term ‘clerk’ being considered derogatory?”

The prosecutor responded, “The word ‘clerk’ was used to target the ECP employee. The police have collected documentary evidence.”

“[But] Fawad Chaudhry is not denying his statement,” the judge said.

The prosecutor at one point recalled Fawad in a TV program saying that “rebellion was mandatory in this country. Inciting people at a time of instability in the country was inappropriate. Fawad was not only targeting the electoral body but also Pak Army and some politicians”.

On his turn Awan presenting his argument said, “It is there in front of you what the prosecution did with Azam Swati. The prosecution is now finding a new complainant so that a new institution is offended.”

Upon the conclusion of the arguments, the sessions judge accepted Fawad’s bail plea, warning him to not say such statements again.

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