ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday remanded former senator Faisal Raza Abidi into the police’s custody for two days on terror charges, while the Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected an appeal filed by him praying upon the court to dismiss a case pertaining to “insulting and threatening” the chief justice.
Judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi approved Abidi’s physical remand on terror charges.
On Wednesday, the Secretariat Police registered an FIR [first information report] against him that includes Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).
In a separate hearing, the IHC rejected Abidi’s petition, requesting the court to drop two cases against him for alleged defamation of judges and the Supreme Court.
Three cases have been registered against Abidi for allegedly defaming the judiciary and using threatening language. On Oct 2, he received interim bail in two cases filed in Sept ─ which was set to expire on Thursday─ and had requested on Oct 8 that the cases be dismissed.
Earlier this week, a third case was filed against him and he was taken into custody by police outside the Supreme Court, where he had attended the hearing of a suo motu case initiated against him for anti-judiciary remarks made by him in an interview that was aired on Channel 5.
While hearing the plea, Justice Moshin Akhtar Kayani remarked that the judiciary and chief justice were being openly threatened.
“The attitude of threatening the judiciary is wrong,” he observed.
The court further observed that contempt cases had “turned into a joke”.
“Whoever pleases comes and slings mud at the judiciary,” the court noted.
During the hearing, the court asked Abidi’s lawyer, Sheikh Zaheer Hussain Shah, which TV channel the remarks were aired on, to which the lawyer responded saying that it was a channel called Naya Pakistan.
Shah argued that it was unconstitutional to have three FIRs registered against his client, to which Justice Kiyani responded that Abidi would be punished in one case, not three.
Furthermore, when asked whether Abidi was guilty of contempt, Abidi’s lawyer denied the charge and said, “My client only used harsh words, he did not commit contempt of court.”
On Wednesday, Abidi had appeared before the Supreme Court’s two-judge bench regarding a contempt case against him.
During the hearing, the former senator had requested the court to adjourn the case until his lawyer returned from Umrah or grant him time to hire a new counsel.
Approving Abidi’s request, the bench had adjourned the hearing till October 30 and issued a notice to the attorney general in this regard.
However, following his appearance when Abidi left the Supreme Court and was crossing Constitution Avenue to return to his residence, he was arrested by Secretariat police.
Abidi had served as the Karachi division president of the Pakistan People’s Party but later stepped down from the post.