ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday acquitted Irfan Siddiqui, a columnist and close aide to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, in a case pertaining to the violation of tenancy law.
Justice Aamer Farooq issued the ruling after reviewing a written order from Assistant Commissioner Shalimar on Nov 20. The AC’s order was submitted in court by the police today.
In the order, the AC had cleared Irfan and had said that perusal of the documents submitted by the police revealed that the house belonged to his son, Imran Khawar Siddiqui. The order further said that the lease agreement was between Imran and his tenant Jawed Iqbal.
“Both these facts suggest that Irfanul Haq Siddiqui had no onus to disclose the name of the tenant to the officer-in-charge [of the] police station,” the AC’s written order said.
“It would be a futile exercise to proceed further,” it said.
On July 26, Irfan was arrested by the Islamabad police during a late-night raid on his residence for not informing the police who he was allegedly renting out his house to, a requirement under the tenancy law An FIR (No 243/19) was registered under Section 188 at the Ramna police station in Islamabad.
The following day, he was presented before a magistrate who sent him to Adiala jail on a 14-day judicial remand on a request from the police. The same magistrate granted him bail the next day.
At the time, Irfan had said that the house in question belonged to his son and was rented out a few days before the police’s raid.
Later in August, Irfan filed a petition in IHC for the withdrawal of the case lodged against him.
During today’s hearing of his petition, his lawyer urged the court to order that action be taken against the administration.
“This is your right. You can [file a case] separately,” Justice Farooq responded to the request for action against the administration.
A written verdict of the IHC on the matter is yet to be issued.
Speaking to media representatives outside the court, Irfan said he was consulting with his legal team and two separate cases were being prepared.
“We plan to lodge a case against the abolition of rights and another pertaining to cheating,” he said, adding: “By issuing a fraudulent notification and then an order against me, my basic rights were snatched. […] After jailing and handcuffing me, today they said ‘he is not at fault’.
“This case should now reach its logical conclusion.”