Fawad Chaudhry, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), must appear before the court by 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to a district and sessions court order, after police appealed Judicial Magistrate Waqas Ahmed Raja’s order to extend the physical remand the day before.
In their plea, the police asked the sessions judge to “nullify” the judgement of the judicial magistrate and prolong Fawad’s physical detention so that more time could be spent on the case.
Tahir Mehmood Khan, an additional sessions judge, gave the orders.
The PTI leader’s demand for post-arrest bail is also the subject of another hearing in a nearby court, which is taking place concurrently.
Separate hearings for the two cases are taking place at several courts nearby at the F-8 Kacheri (a judicial complex for district courts).
On Wednesday, Fawad was taken into custody outside of his Lahore home after the Kohsar Police Station received a complaint from ECP Secretary Omar Hameed.
Police charged him under the Pakistan Penal Code’s sections 153-A (promotion of enmity between groups), 506 (criminal intimidation), 505 (statement inciting public commotion), and 124-A (sedition).
After the remand period expired on Friday, he was brought before the court, but the prosecution’s request for an extension was denied.
The court questioned the prosecution about the investigation carried out during the PTI leader’s two days of physical detention before starting the hearing on the police’s appeal.
The state attorney retorted that the suspect will likely be interrogated for “practically one day.” The officer informed the judge that “we need to run a photogrammetric test on the defendant.”
Babar Awan, Chaudhry’s defence attorney, went before the court and raised concerns about the investigating officer’s absence. He maintained that the police had not given his team any advance information that they intended to contest the court orders.
He argued that “our nation has turned into a banana republic.”
The judge ordered police to bring the PTI leader in for a court appearance after hearing arguments, stating that the production of the suspect was required in a motion for an extension of physical remand.
The ex-minister must appear in court by 12:30 p.m., the court ordered the police.