ISLAMABAD - An Anti-Terrorism Court Friday deferred hearing on an application seeking post-arrest bail for former senator Faisal Raza Abidi in a case related to defamation of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.

ATC Judge Shahrukh Arjumand conducted hearing of the petition seeking bail for Abidi on medical grounds and adjourned the proceedings as the accused could not turn up before the court. Now the court would resume hearing in this matter on November 6 for further proceedings.

Abidi has approached the ATC again to seek bail on medical grounds as the same court had earlier turned down the application of former senator seeking bail after arrest after the prosecutor adopted that the accused had in an interview aired on a private television channel tried to blackmail the top judge.However, the counsel for Abidi contended before the court that there was nothing on record showing his client had threatened any member of the judiciary.

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had booked Faisal Raza under the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016.

According to the FIR registered against the former senator, Abidi with criminal intent and ulterior motives and without lawful justification had used sarcastic, derogatory, disrespectful and defamatory language against the chief justice. It said his remarks were tantamount to creating a sense of fear, panic and insecurity among the government, general public and society.

It said that Faisal Raza Abidi was prima facie guilty of offences punishable under sections 10(a), 11 and 20 of PECA, read with sections 109 and 509 of the PPC.

Abidi is also facing other FIRs registered at the Secretariat police station under PPC’s sections 228, 500, 505(ii) and 34, along with the ATA, in response to a complaint lodged by SC public relations officer Shahid Hussain Kambyo for using threatening language and leveling allegations against government institutions and individuals holding the highest constitutional posts.