LAHORE: Punjab’s former forestry minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Sibtain Khan has been released after furnishing bail bonds in the sum of Rs5 million with two sureties over the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC), ARY News reported on Saturday.
Sibtain Khan was released after the issuance of ‘robkar [mandamus]’, a copy of which obtained by ARY News, by an accountability court in Lahore following the acceptance of his post-arrest bail plea in LHC under Article 199.
The PTI leader was warmly welcomed by the activists after his release as the former Punjab Minister for Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries had been arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on June 14 over the charges of awarding of contracts illegally for extracting minerals in Chiniot.
While talking to media, the politician said that he was sent to jail in a ‘dead horse’ case.
It may be noted that the release orders of Sibtain Khan were given after the issuance of a 20-page written verdict of the Lahore High Court earlier in the day given by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem in connection with the bail petition submitted by the PTI leader.
The verdict stated that when a citizen complaints violation of fundamental right, the high court should exercise its power under Article 199 to investigate the matter and pass such order as may be found just, legal and equitable.
It added that it is by now well settled that a statutory ouster of jurisdiction of all Courts could not affect the jurisdiction of a high court to grant bail under Article 199 of the constitution for the protection of fundamental rights.
The high court in its verdict clarified that the provision of the fundamental rights could not be stopped to such persons accused by the anti-corruption watchdog for further proceedings of inquiries in different cases.
The denial of such rights is a reason to dent the belief of citizens for the provision of their rights from the courts, the verdict stated. The court directed institutions to ensure freedom of the nationals and maintain respectful behaviour with the citizens.
On another note, the judges remarked, “For what has been stated above, this writ petition is allowed and the petitioner is admitted to post-arrest bail subject to his furnishing bail bonds in the sum of Rs5 million with two sureties in the like amount to the satisfaction of the learned trial court.”