ISLAMABAD: A local court on Thursday discharged Lieutenant General Amjad Shoaib (retired) from the case registered against him on charges of inciting the public against State institutions.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Tahir Abbas Sipra, while announcing its reserved judgment on the petition filed by Shoaib’s counsel seeking dismissal of charges filed against his client the court discharged him from the case. Earlier, police produced Shoaib before the court after the expiry of his three physical remand amid tight security arrangements.

Mian Ashfaq, while arguing before the court, said that no public servant has given an application for the registration of a case against his client. The case registered by police against his client is bogus and did not fall under Section 505 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), he said, adding that Shoaib did not target any community.

He further argued that his client owns the statement he made during a TV talk show. If we are called again we will make the same statement, he said. Shoaib’s counsel said that there were around 600,000 army officers and millions of government servants in the country.

A single government servant out of millions filed a complaint with police that they have been affected by the statement made by Shoaib, he said.

He further argued that the TV programme in which his client made the statement ended at 11am and the whole nation had been sleeping and the next day all the government servants seemed to be little concerned and filed no complaint against his client.

When Shoaib was allowed to speak, he said that he had never supported long marches and sit-ins. He was talking about history and that nothing has ever been achieved from sit-ins and rallies. He makes analysis and never his analysis is implemented, he said, adding that he never met any political leader.

Shoaib’s lawyer requested the court to dismiss the case.

The judge asked prosecutor Adnan the reasons for the extension in the physical remand of Shoaib. Keeping the suspect behind the bar is necessary to investigate him further and conduct a photogrammetric test. Why do you not take Shoaib to the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to verify that either he is Shoaib or not, the judge asked?

The prosecutor replied that it was the right of an investigator to probe the case.

The court, after hearing the arguments of both parties, reserved its judgment. Later, the court announced his judgment and discharged Shoaib from the case.

The police arrested Shoaib on Feb 27 from his residence after registration of a case at the complaint of Magistrate Owais Khan under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups, etc) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).