- Amjad Shoaib had filed a review plea against physical remand.
- Prosecution had opposed discharge request.
- Retired military officer was on three-day physical remand.
ISLAMABAD: A district and sessions court of Islamabad on Thursday discharged Lieutenant General (retd) Amjad Shoaib from the case registered against him for “inciting the public against national institutions”.
The orders were issued by Additional District and Sessions Judge Tahir Abbas Sipra when he announced the verdict on the review plea filed by the former three-star general against his physical remand.
The judge had earlier heard the arguments on the plea and reserved his verdict on the petition.
During the hearing, the prosecution had opposed the discharge request made by Shoaib’s lawyers.
Earlier this week, a local Islamabad court had sent the former army officer on a three-day remand.
The former military officer was presented in the court of Judicial Magistrate Abbas Shah on Monday after he was arrested by the Islamabad police on charges of “inciting the public against national institutions”.
During the hearing, the prosecution informed the court about the case registered against Amjad Shoaib and requested a seven-day physical remand.
Prosecutor Adnan contended that the ex-general, through his statement on TV, tried to spread hate between the government, the opposition and the government employees.
The lawyer also told the court that they require a photogrammetric test of the former military officer and have to take him to Lahore for the purpose.
The prosecutor then requested the court to approve a seven-day physical remand.
Meanwhile, Lt Gen (retd) Shoaib’s lawyer Mudassir Khalid Abbasi opposed the physical remand request and instead urged the court to discharge the case.
“The sections inserted in the FIR do not apply to Amjad Shoaib,” said the lawyer. He added that his client only gave an example of a certain situation.
The lawyer argued that the case against Shoaib was registered on “political grounds”, adding that his client was also being harassed.
“If legitimate criticism is wrong then eliminate opposition from the system,” Abbasi added.
What was the case?
A first information report (FIR) was registered against Lt Gen (retd) Shoaib on February 25 at Islamabad’s Ramna Police Station.
The FIR was registered under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups, etc) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
According to the FIR, filed on the complaint of Islamabad Magistrate Owais Khan, the former army officer “incited” people to revolt against institutions and attempted to provoke “disharmony, and anarchy and create a law and order situation” in the country through his controversial statements made on a TV show.
“Through his remarks and analysis, Lt Gen (retd) Amjad Shoaib has suggested government employees against carrying out their official duties. The aim of his controversial advice to the people, government employees and an opposition party is to promote enmity among the people.”
The statement of the former military official, the FIR stated, is part of a “planned conspiracy” to weaken the country.