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’.
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.