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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Attock court wraps up Imran Riaz Khan’s case

The Court orders the police to release the TV personality if not wanted in another case.

The Attock has wrapped up a case filed against anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan and ordered the police to release the TV personality if not wanted in another case.

Punjab Police presented Khan before the court to seek three-day physical remand.

The police detained him on Tuesday as he arrived at the federal capital from the Islamabad Toll Plaza when heading to Islamabad High Court (IHC) for an extension in bail.

Judicial Magistrate Attock Yasir Tanveer heard the case till 3 am and reserved the decision, which was issued later in the morning.

“…..keeping in view the above said facts and circumstances and guidance from the above-said case laws, at this moment the case in hand is not a case of sufficient evidence which connect the accused Imran Riaz with the commission of the offence as embodied in the crime report. Therefore, the accused Imran Riaz Khan is hereby discharged from this case.”

Read more: IFJ urges Pak authorities to drop cases against Imran Riaz Khan

According to the order, Khan should be immediately released if he wasn’t needed in any other case. But the police could continue their investigation if they collected enough evidence. However, “any legal action would be taken strictly in accordance with the law.”

According to Geo News, Imran Riaz Khan was brought before the Attock court on Wednesday following his detention. Still, the court declined to hear the case because parts of the Prevention Of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 had been added to the FIR.

Later, the anchorperson was brought before Judicial Magistrate Muhammad Pervaiz Khan in Rawalpindi. The court instructed that the charges framed against him under the provisions of the PECA 2016 be repealed and the journalist produced in the Attock court.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) official informed the judge that the offences listed in the first information report against Imran were not “actually made out” and that the police had incorrectly filed the FIR based on PECA provisions, and the court then announced the decision, Geo News reported.

“The FIA official further informed the court that no offence had been committed according to the PECA sections, and the FIA did not have the privilege to investigate the matter further.”

On Wednesday, the IHC disposed of the contempt of court petition filed against his arrest and directed him to approach the Lahore High Court.

According to a Daily Dawn report, charges framed in the FIR against the anchorperson include sections 505-1(C) (statements conducing to public mischief with intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community), 505 (2) (whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement or report containing rumour or alarming news with intent to create or promote feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities), 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), and 109 (punishment of abetment if the Act abetted committed In consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment) of the Pakistan Penal Code and six different PECA sections.

Read more: IHC discards journalist Imran Riaz Khan’s petition against arrest

In another development, Amnesty International said it was “alarmed” by the news about Khan’s arrest and urged the authorities to “stop punishing dissenting voices,” saying that it “has been a worrying trend in Pakistan for many years.”