LAHORE - A hate-mongering cleric was arrested after his counsel withdrew pre-arrest bail from the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

As the bench was going to dismiss the case, the petitioner’s counsel sought permission to withdraw the plea and the court accepted it. Consequently, the bench treated the petition as withdrawn and the police arrested the cleric.

The Shahdra police booked local prayer leader Ashraf Shakir for provoking his followers to attack a police team on March 25, 2013.

Petitioner’s council told the court that Shakir could not appear before the bench as he was under treatment in Mayo Hospital emergency ward.

As the law required a pre-arrest bail seeker to appear before the court in person, the bench ordered bringing Shakir before it along with a senior doctor.

The petitioner was taken to the court on an ambulance accompanied by Mayo Hospital MS Dr Tahir Khalil. He told the bench that the cleric was admitted to the hospital following minor injuries a day before but was discharged the same day.

Following his production orders, the petitioner reached the hospital again to be brought in the ambulance as directed by the court.

The Justice Mian Saqib Nisar-led bench rejected the plea on the ground that the same excuse was raised in the Lahore High Court that also rejected the bail to the man.