The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday ordered police to not take further action against Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid in cases filed against him in Karachi and Balochistan in connection with alleged defamation of the PPP leadership. The Islamabad police had arrested the PTI ally on February 2 for remarks he made against former president Asif Ali Zardari and had granted the police his two-day physical remand the same day. At the outset of the hearing, Sheikh Rashid’s lawyer told the IHC that the court had stopped further action on the summons issued by the Aabpara Police Station. He added that police registered a case on the same complaint and arrested his client. The counsel also informed the court that another first information report (FIR) was registered in Karachi while Sheikh Rashid was in Islamabad Police’s custody. “If Poly Clinic [Islamabad] is the place where the statement was given then how was a case registered in Karachi?” asked Justice Jahangiri. The court also wondered how multiple FIRs can be registered in different cities on the same incident. At this, Sheikh Rashid’s lawyer told the court that a third case was registered against his client in Murree. “Has the arrest been made in all three cases?” asked the judge. The lawyer told the court that the arrest has been made in only one case. On this, Justice Jahangiri remarked that as per law, arrest in one case is considered arrest in all cases. Sheikh Rashid’s counsel then told the court that the former interior minister was “tied to a chair for six hours” at an unidentified location. He also claimed that during this time, the AML chief was asked “political questions” and “tortured”. The court then remarked that during Rashid’s tenure cases were registered against secretary information and managing director of the state-run TV. “The same is happening with you. Think, if the female secretary information was arrested and taken by Badhbher police station what would have happened?” asked the IHC judge. The court then stopped the police from taking action in the cases registered against the former federal minister in Karachi and Lasbela. It also issued notices to bar councils, attorney general and advocate general of Islamabad. The case was then adjourned till February 9. Meanwhile, a district and sessions court in Islamabad Monday adjourned the hearing of Sheikh Rashid’s post-arrest bail plea till today (Tuesday). Once the hearing resumed at 12:30pm, the prosecutor told the court that the investigation officer – who had gone to the high court with the case record – had not returned. During the proceedings, the petitioner’s counsel also sought two days’ time for the preparation of the case. After hearing this, Judge Umar Shabbir adjourned the hearing till Tuesday. The AML chief is currently in Adiala Jail on judicial remand for 14 days.