LHC grants designer Khadija Shah bail in two cases


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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) granted post-arrest bail on Wednesday to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporter and designer Khadija Shah in two cases, pertaining to ‘setting Askari Tower ablaze’ and attacking Jinnah House on May 9.

The attacks happened in the aftermath of the arrest of former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan.

As proceedings commenced today, Justice Aalia first granted the designer bail in the Askari Tower case and then in the Jinnah House Attack case. Earlier, the bench had reserved its decision after hearing detailed arguments in both the cases.

In previous proceedings, the petitioner’s counsel had argued that the investigation in the cases had been completed, and no substantial evidence was put on record to establish the guilt of the accused.

He requested the court to grant Khadija post-arrest bails in two aforementioned FIRs.

However, the special prosecutor contended that the accused was involved in creating a law and order situation, spreading chaos, anarchy and attacking the Jinnah House.

He argued that the accused also chanted anti-state slogans. To this, Justice Aalia remarked that staging protests on a leader’s call was our society’s culture. “Stop monitoring things that put you people in trouble tomorrow so minutely,” the judge remarked.

The arrest

The prominent fashion designer and PTI supporter was taken into custody on May 23 in relation to the assault on Jinnah House that took place in Lahore following the arrest of party chairman Imran Khan on May 9.

Khadija turned herself in at the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) Iqbal Town police station. Police officials confirmed the arrest of the fashion designer.

The daughter of former finance minister Salman Shah and the brains behind the fashion label Elan, Khadija Shah is suspected to have been among those leading the attack on the Jinnah House, being used as the residence of the Lahore Corps Commander.

A few days prior to her arrest, in an audio clip circulating on social media before her surrender, Khadija could be heard explaining the immense hardship her family has faced over the past few days.

On July 12, the LHC’s division bench dismissed a set of petitions challenging the detention of Khadija and other women supporters of the PTI, including Huma Saeed and others.

The petitioners had also challenged the judicial remand awarded by the anti-terrorism court (ATC) and the physical remand of the administrative judge ATC, seeking to declare them as illegal and unlawful.

They had also requested the court to declare “inoperative”, “inalienable” the identification parade conducted on June 1, 2023 arguing that it was shameful, bogus and fraudulent in nature, claiming no due process was adopted.

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