LAHORE: Former information minister, Fawad Chaudhry, is set to appear in court today after completing a two-day physical examination and photogrammetry test at a Lahore forensic lab.
At the start of today’s hearing, Chaudhry’s counsel, Barrister Babar Awan, requested an earlier resumption of proceedings, to which the judge ordered Chaudhry’s appearance at 11:30 am following his medical examination.
Chaudhry is facing charges of sedition for allegedly “threatening” members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a media talk. He was arrested from Lahore on Wednesday, following a case filed at the Kohsar police station in Islamabad, and was presented in court on Friday.
The prosecution’s request for a remand extension was initially rejected, but later overturned by the session court. On Saturday, the judicial magistrate granted the police a two-day remand and ordered Chaudhry’s appearance in court today.
The police requested further custody, citing inadequate time to investigate Chaudhry and conduct the photogrammetry test. On Sunday, Chaudhry was taken to his Lahore home for the recovery of communication devices.
Chaudhry was arrested by the police from outside his residence in Lahore shortly after he publically criticised the tribunal and government, separately, for plotting to arrest former prime minister Imran Khan.
Along with hundreds of party supporters, Chaudhary had gathered outside Khan’s residence in the Zaman Park neighbourhood of Lahore, claiming to avert the Shehbaz Sharif government’s purported plan to arrest Khan.
He is also accused of having “harassed and intimidated” election commission officials and their families in televised comments on Tuesday, according to a police report shared by the opposition party.
The charges, lodged in Islamabad, also say he is being held under sedition legislation because he “tried to cause an impediment in the election process of the state.”
The police report cites Chaudhry describing the tribunal as “clerks” signing off the orders of the government of Sharif. “If you are so weak then better you should pack up and go home,” he said, according to police.
He had earlier told reporters: “We warn the election commission, its members and their families that, if the series of abuses against us continues, you will have to pay back.”