Safdar granted bail in incendiary speeches case

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LAHORE: A district and sessions court in Lahore on Wednesday granted bail to PML-N leader Capt retired Mohammad Safdar in a case pertaining to incendiary speeches against the government and state institutions.

Additional Sessions Judge Tajamal Shehzad announced the verdict and granted bail against surety bonds worth Rs200,000. Safdar will be released following formalities.

The defense counsel, in the bail plea, had contended that Safdar was being subjected to political revenge. He had added that Safdar was a political figure and talking about an anti-government drive was his “democratic right”.

“If cases are filed on the basis of such statements, then cases should also be filed against the incumbent rulers,” he said.

Punjab police had arrested Safdar last week from the motorway while he was returning to Lahore from Bhera. A case had been registered against him on Oct 11 for speaking against the government and state institutions.

According to the prosecution, the suspect was arrested on a directive issued by then Lahore Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Asghar Joiya. According to the FIR, Safdar, during a court appearance for bail in another case, “sat in the barroom and made remarks against the government”.

Earlier on Oct 26, a lower court in Lahore had denied a request for bail filed by Safdar in a case of alleged incitement of hate.