SC defers MSR’s bail hearing to Monday

Jang Geo Media Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. — The News/Files

Jang/Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s bail hearing has been deferred to Monday  by the Supreme Court as as the National Accountability Court sought a three-member bench for the case.

MSR is currently incarcerated over a concocted property case made against him by the anti-graft watchdog.

A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Mushir Alam, presided over Tuesday’s hearing.

MSR’s lawyer, Khawaja Harris, pleaded that the Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed had fixed the case for hearing. “The respected bench — comprising two members — can hear the case.”

However, NAB’s additional prosecutor-general objected, saying that the apex court had ordered a three-member bench to hear the case, and so a two-member bench should not conduct proceedings.

Meanwhile, Justice Alam said that the court is cautious when it comes to bail cases and deferred proceedings to Thursday — three days from today.

At this, the NAB prosecutor appealed to the bench to postpone the hearings till Monday, saying that two of the anti-graft watchdog’s prosecutors were sick.

“NAB’s team will not be available during this week,” he said.

Concluding the hearing, the SC judges referred the matter of setting up a three-member bench to the chief justice and deferred the hearing till Monday.

It is pertinent to mention that a two-member bench of the apex court had so far heard the rest of NAB’s cases.

A two-member bench headed by Justice Maqbool Baqir heard PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique’s Paragon City corruption case.

Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed’s fake bank accounts case was also heard by a two-member bench.

NAB had objected to the number of judges on the bench, however, the apex court had rejected the objection.

MSR was arrested by NAB on March 12 — more than 200 days ago — on trumped-up charges relating to property purchased more than three decades ago.

The Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief’s arrest has been condemned from all quarters, with international human rights organisatons calling on the incumbent government to release MSR.

Protests against MSR’s arrest have been going on across the country, with journalists pledging to stand united in the movement of justice for Mir-Shakil-ur-Rahman and to foil all conspiracies against the group.

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