Agha Iftikharuddin Mirza, a religious scholar accused of threatening Supreme Court’s Justice Qazi Faez Isa, has been allowed to return home after the Islamabad High Court approved his bail on Thursday against Rs1 million surety bond.
Mirza had approached the Islamabad court after an anti-terrorism court rejected his bail in the case. A two-member bench, comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamer Farooq, heard the case.
The scholar, in a video, had said that the judge should be placed in front of a firing squad and the squad should be given permission to open fire at him. Sarina Isa, the wife of the judge, had filed a complaint against Mirza. The Supreme Court took suo motu notice and started contempt proceedings against him too.
At 9:40am, Justice Minallah entered the courtroom wearing a green surgical mask. The judge heard seven cases in 38 minutes. As the room got empty, the judge spotted Sarina Isa’s lawyers sitting at the backbench. He asked them why they were sitting in the corner.
Advocates Owais Arshad and Kabeer Hashmi got up and came closer to the judge’s seat. Arshad said that he can’t hear the judge and asked him to repeat his question.
The judge asked, “Are you waiting for the division bench?”
To which, the two lawyers said ‘yes’ in unison.
At 10:19am, the judge got up from his seat and went to his chamber.
Justice Farooq had arrived late because of which the division bench started hearing cases after 11am.
Mirza’s and Sarina Isa’s lawyers along with the state’s lawyer came to the rostrum after the case number was called out.
Cases tend to become complicated when a member of the judiciary is a petitioner, remarked Justice Minallah. He said that the trial should be transparent and fair.
Arshad told the chief justice that the FIR has been filed by Sarina Isa and not Justice Qazi Faez Isa.
Justice Minallah then asked Mirza’s lawyers if they agree with what their client has said in that particular video. Your client made many allegations on a political basis and claims to be a religious scholar, he said.
A woman lawyer said that her client has already submitted an apology to the Supreme Court. The lawyer said that her client has detached himself from the video and the comments he made.
Justice Farooq asked them how they can do that. The lawyers told him that Mirza did not upload the video on his own social media account.
The judge then asked on what grounds they have filed for bail. On medical grounds, he was informed.
The chief justice asked the state lawyer if he is in favour of the bail or against it. The state lawyer said that he is opposing it.
Justice Minallah then turned to Sarina Isa’s lawyers and asked if there were any other non-bailable sections in the FIR other than Section 7 of the ATA and they said no.
There are many cases in which terrorism laws are included for no good reason. The terrorism laws do not apply to this case, Justice Farooq added. After this, the bench approved the bail.