An Islamabad additional sessions and district court on Saturday deferred Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill’s indictment in the sedition case till May 6. The PTI leader faces multiple cases since making controversial comments about the military establishment on a private TV channel. In August of last year, he was arrested by the federal government on charges of sedition and inciting the public against state institutions. In December, he was hospitalised with shortness of breath and coughing. Additional sessions judge Tahir Abbas Sipra presided over the hearing Saturday, with Gill and his lawyers Qaiser Imam and Ali Bukhari present in the court. At the outset of the hearing, the PTI leader jested with the judge, wishing him a “happy birthday”, to which Sipra was quick to note that the “April’s fool message had reached Gill”. The judge remarked that Gill was going abroad and inquired when he would return to Pakistan. The PTI leader stated that he had to go “far” and requested that the court have mercy on him. When asked how far he had to travel, Gill repeated his earlier sentence. “It’s not as if you’re going by foot,” the judge commented. The lawyer for one of the co-accused mentioned that the decision of the Supreme Court was not received after a plea was filed to adjourn the proceedings of the sedition until a decision on Arshad Sharif’s case was made in the apex court. The judge directed that Gill’s plea be submitted in writing. The court postponed Gill’s indictment again. The hearing was adjourned till May 6. Earlier, the Lahore High Court (LHC) permitted Gill to travel to the United States for four weeks. A three-member bench headed by LHC Chief Justice (CJ) Muhammad Ameer Bhatti was hearing a petition seeking the removal of Gill’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL). As proceedings commenced, CJ Bhatti questioned under what law had the PTI leader’s name been placed on the list prohibiting him from leaving Pakistan. The federal government’s counsel informed the court that Gill had been accused in multiple cases in Islamabad and explained that his name had been placed on the ECL upon commissioner Islamabad’s request.