LAHORE: A special court set up last year under the Protection of Pakistan Act (Popa) to try “enemies of the country” held its first hearing on Friday in a case against 12 members of banned outfits arrested on charges of distributing hate material.
A joint investigation team led by DSP Nasir Bajwa produced Agha Tahir and the other accused before the special court headed by District and Sessions Judge Muqarrab Khan. DSP Bajwa informed the court that Ghalib Market police had arrested the suspects and also seized hate material they possessed.
The court said the trial would formally begin on Feb 22 (Monday) and asked the prosecution to submit a challan against the suspects on the day.
Trial of 12 people accused of distributing hate material to begin formally on Monday
President Mamnoon Hussain promulgated the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance in October 2013. The National Assembly passed the Popa in 2014 and special courts were established in January 2015 in the provincial capitals.
After the enforcement of the law, security forces began arresting suspects. In Lahore, police have registered at least 200 such cases.
In a number of cases, the Supreme Court ordered the authorities concerned to ensure the functioning of the special court without delay, so that trials could begin with the submission of challans there.