Lahore: In the Jinnah House attack case, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore has granted post-arrest bail to PTI’s former Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Rubina Jamil and eight others. However, the court denied bail to 39 others, including former MNA Alia Hamza and fashion designer Khadija Shah.
The Sarwar Road police had filed a First Information Report (FIR) against numerous leaders and hundreds of PTI workers for their involvement in the attack on Jinnah House, which is also the residence of the Lahore corps commander. This attack took place during the violent protests that occurred nationwide on May 9 following the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan in a corruption case.
In a recent development, the Presiding Judge of ATC-III, Arshad Javed, has granted post-arrest bail to several individuals. These include former MNA Rubina Jamil, social media activist Sanam Javed, Afshan Tariq, Shahbano, Ashima Shuja, Mubeen Qadri, Syed Faisal Akhtar, Ali Hassan, and Mohammad Qasim.
In the main FIR, the court had previously granted bail to Ms. Jamil. However, she has now filed an amended petition for bail in response to new charges that have been recently added by the police.
The police obtained a fresh physical remand of the suspects by adding new charges to the FIR, including section 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or assisting in war against Pakistan), section 131 (abetting mutiny or attempting to influence a soldier, sailor, or airman to abandon their duty), and section 146 (rioting). These new charges were applied to all cases related to the May 9 riots.
Advocate Faisal Bajwa, representing Ms. Jamil and the other suspects, argued that the police failed to provide any specific and direct evidence against them. He pointed out that the petitioners were accused based on general allegations, as the police investigation did not specify their individual roles in any of the charges.
The counsel also cited a Supreme Court ruling that suggested suspects, especially women without a specific role mentioned in the FIR, should be granted post-arrest bail.
Special Prosecutor Farhad Ali Shah opposed the bail petitions, stating that the suspects had committed crimes against the state. He argued that being women did not give them the right to engage in riots and anarchy.
Nevertheless, the judge granted bail to nine suspects and instructed them to provide surety bonds of Rs100,000.
On a separate note, Judge Javed rejected the bail petitions of 39 suspects, including former MNA Alia Hamza, Khadija Shah (the granddaughter of a former army chief), Samia Asad, and Rubina Khan. These suspects are also under judicial remand in other cases related to the May 9 protests.
On Saturday, an anti-terrorism court refused to grant additional physical remand for PTI Senator Ijaz Chaudhry and former provincial minister Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed in two cases related to the May 9 riots.
The Naseerabad police presented both leaders before the court, requesting extended custody for their involvement in cases related to burning a container at Kalma Chowk and setting fire to the party offices of PML-N in Model Town.
However, Judge Abher Gul Khan rejected the police’s request and ordered that the suspects be placed in judicial remand in jail. The judge instructed the police to present the suspects again on October 7th.
This information was published in Dawn newspaper on September 24th, 2023.