ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) restricted the authorities on Wednesday from taking human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari out of the federal capital while she is under arrest.
A divisional bench comprising Justice Mian Gul Hassan and Justice Aurangzeb was hearing Imaan’s plea seeking details of all disclosed or undisclosed cases against her.
Imaan’s mother, former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and federal human rights minister, Shireen Mazari appeared before the court along with her lawyers Suleman Akram Raja and Qaiser Imam.
The petitioner’s lawyers stated that it became necessary to file such a plea as two cases were registered against Imaan – pertaining to terrorism and sedition. She was arrested in both cases and acquired bail in both but as soon as she was released from Adiala jail, the renowned human rights lawyer was arrested in a third case, the counsels informed the court.
The bench observed that the country is going through some difficult times. “Imaan Mazari was present before this court. I asked her to ask her mother to control her tongue and Imaan assured us she would. But then Imaan did not control her own tongue,” said Justice Aurangzeb. “The year 2023 is the darkest in our history in terms of upholding the Constitution and the judiciary,” he added.
The petitioner’s counsels contended that the cases registered against Imaan are based on mala fide intent. If a crime has been committed then it is up to the courts to decide, stated the lawyer, praying the court to direct the authorities to disclose how many cases have been registered against Imaan.
The counsels moved the court to restrict the authorities from shifting Imaan out of Islamabad in any other case.
The bench inquired how many cases are registered against Imaan across the country and directed the interior secretary to seek reports from the provinces and inform the court by tomorrow (Thursday).
The court further restricted the authorities from shifting the human rights lawyer outside of Islamabad while she is under arrest. The interior secretary was directed to ensure the implementation of court orders.
Before adjourning the hearing, the court restrained the authorities from arresting Imaan in any case pertaining to incidents post-August 20, 2023.
On Tuesday, an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad handed over Imaan to the police for three days of physical remand.
The prosecution had argued that law enforcement agencies had reasons to believe that the human rights lawyer was collecting money from people and using the funds for anti-state activities.
The day prior, she was granted bail by an ATC in another case registered against her for participating in a protest organised by the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) in Islamabad.
Shortly after the ATC granted relief, Iman was arrested by Islamabad Police in a case registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) at the Bara Kahu Police Station.