The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) has acquitted senior MQM leaders in 21 similar cases involving anti-national speech by Altaf Hussain, founder of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
The ATC No. 1 judge had earlier this month reserved his judgment on petitions filed by MQM leaders acquitted in the current cases under Section 265K of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The judge ruled on petitions filed in 21 similar cases in different police stations in the city, which were merged by the court for a joint trial.
The court granted the petitions and acquitted former federal minister Dr Farooq Sattar, former MQM spokesman Qamar Mansoor and former Sindh minister Rauf Siddiqui.
In their petitions, the MQM leaders had argued that they had been forcibly implicated in allegations which the prosecution had failed to prove because they did not have proof.
On the other hand, the public prosecutor argued that there was enough material on the record to show the involvement of MQM nominee leaders and others in the hate speeches of the MQM founder.
According to the prosecution, Altaf Hussain, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the UK for almost three decades, had made controversial remarks about the country and incited his party workers to violence during his July 2015 speech.
It may be recalled that the MQM founder had been charged by the police along with other party leaders over evoking people to spread violence through his hate speech in August 2016 from London.
MQM founder had also been charged by London Metropolitan Police over provoking people to spread violence through his hate speech.
The MQM founder was charged by the Metropolitan Police under the terrorism act upon his arrival at Southwark police station on Oct 10, 2019.
The MQM leader had appeared at the police station for the third time over the charges of hate speech, which he had delivered from London to a rally in Karachi.