Nehal Hashmi gets breather as ATC grants bail till 21st July

  • Nehal Hashmi was granted interim pre-arrest bail against a surety bond of Rs200,000 till July 21
  • Supreme Court also indicted the senator who was expelled from PML-N for threatening speech
Pakistan

KARACHI – An anti-terrorism court granted interim pre-arrest bail to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Senator Nehal Hashmi on Thursday in a case pertaining to his threatening speech against those ‘investigating Sharif family’.


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The PML-N leader was booked last month for extending threats to the judiciary and the joint investigation team that was  probing offshore assets of Sharif family in the backdrop of Panama case.

The police had filed a charge-sheet against Sen Hashmi under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 before the administrative judge of ATCs a few days ago.

The court had directed him to appear before the trial court on July 13. When the case came up for hearing before the ATC-I judge on Thursday, the suspect along with his lawyer appeared and moved a pre-arrest bail application.

After a preliminary hearing, the court granted him interim pre-arrest bail against a surety bond of Rs200,000 till July 21 and issued a notice to the prosecution for arguments at the next hearing.

According to Dawn News, a case was registered against the senator on June 4 at the Bahadurabad police station under Sections 189 (threat of injury to public servant), 228 (intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in judicial proceeding) and 505 (statements inciting public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code on behalf of the state.

On July 3, Sen Hashmi secured interim bail from a sessions court, but his bail became infructuous as relevant sections of the ATA were incorporated in the case.

The Supreme Court also took suo motu notice against him for his uncharitable remarks and the apex court indicted him a few days ago for contempt of court.

Hashmi’s Threatening Speech

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Nehal Hashmi came under the spotlight in May when a video surfaced in which he can be seen threatening judiciary in a veiled reference.

The video that went viral on the internet shows a disgruntled Senator Nehal warning rivals and ‘some honourable officials associated with top institutions’ of dire consequences if they continued their concerns with the accountability of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“Whoever is asking for accountability will retire tomorrow and we will deal with them,” insinuated Hashmi in a veiled threat to the top judiciary currently probing the ruling Sharif family in the backdrop of Panama papers.

“Those grilling… [be warned that] we will arrange the day of judgment for you.”

“You are making the life of the prime minister difficult. The Pakistani nation will make it difficult for you to live,” he added, without taking any names.

Party Membership Revoked

Hashmi’s party membership was revoked on May 31 after the prime minister house took notice of his speech.

“A show-cause notice has also been issued to the senator,” said Dr Asif Kirmani, the adviser to Prime Minister on Political Affairs.

“We have also demanded his (Hashmi’s) resignation from Senate,” State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said, in a statement.

Later, Hashmi tendered his resignation to Chairman Senate.

Contempt Notice

The court conducted a hearing of the case and served a contempt of court notice on the PML-N Senator for his threatening speech that surfaced late May.

The apex court sought Hashmi’s reply regarding the contempt of court notice by Monday and appointed Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf as a prosecutor.

During the last hearing, Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked that the top judiciary knew what it was doing adding that the Joint Investigation Team currently investigating offshore assets of Sharif family was formulated by the Supreme Court.

“No one can scare us,” remarked Justice Ejaz Afzal.

Justice Aijaz Ul Ahsan stated that the members of cabinets issued threats during the proceedings of the Panama case as well.

Nehal’s U-turn

Pakistan Muslim League Senator Nehal Hashmi requested Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani not to accept his resignation in what appears to be a policy shift for the lawmaker.

According to Geo News, Nehal who is currently embroiled in a tough situation after his diatribe against top judiciary and members of Joint Investigation Team called on Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani and requested him to put on hold his resignation which he tendered on May 31.

Reacting to the development, Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan of ruling PML-N expressed that Nehal Hashmi should stand by his decision and follow party discipline.

Earlier last week, Nehal appeared before a three-member bench who took notice of his outrageous speech made a week ago and stated that he was being mistreated.

The top court ordered the PML-N stalwart to submit his reply on June 6.

Expulsion from PML-N

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif formally approved the expulsion of Senator Nehal Hashmi from the party, last month.

According to media reports, the convener of ‘National Ethics and Discipline Committee’ of ruling PML-N Raja Zafar Ul Haq conducted an inquiry into the diatribe of the Senator against the members of Joint Investigation Team and superior judiciary.

The committee forwarded the report to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif confirming that Nehal made a controversial speech after which the prime minister approved the recommendations of the committee.

Raja Zafar Ul Haq confirmed that the speech of PML-N Sindh member was against party discipline and policy and so the premier gave a green light to the recommendations of the committee.