Transfer Jhang DPO now, LHC orders Punjab govt


The Lahore High Court (LHC) directed the Punjab government on Thursday to fulfil its commitment of transferring Jhang DPO Farooq Mazhar. LHC Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, while hearing a petition against police torture and arrest of lawyers during their protest against said DPO’s misbehaviour, expressed displeasure over government’s failure to comply with court orders.
As the proceedings started, a Punjab government law officer said that DPO’s transfer orders could not be issued because government functionaries were busy in combating dengue. He requested the court to grant time to the Punjab government in this regard. The court while directing Punjab government to fulfil its commitment adjourned the hearing for September 28. On the previous hearing, the Punjab government had informed the court that the row between the DPO and lawyers had settled and the government had decided to transfer the DPO and drop terrorism charges against lawyers. It was further told that transfer orders would be issued before Eid but the same was not done.
Petitioner, Muharram Ali, pleaded that lawyers of Jhang District Bar Association were protesting against DPO’s misbehaviour when the police first tortured and then arrested them under Anti-Terrorism Act. He alleged that the police had shifted them to an unknown place and were subjecting them to torture, adding that the police were still conducting raids at the lawyers’ residence. The tussle between the DPO and the bar had surfaced when the police refused to lodge a robbery case on the complaint of a bar member.
CORRUPTION – A RIGHT? LHC Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, while hearing a bail petition filed by Xen Gul Asghar involved in the corruption of Rs 20.5 million, said that every person believed that corruption was his “right” that caused unrest in the society.
The petitioner’s counsel argued that Gul had been dragged in false cases and he should be released on bail.
While opposing the bail application, prosecutor told the court that the accused had embezzled Rs 20.5 million in the construction of a road.
The CJ said there were serious allegations of corruption against the accused and adjourned the hearing till next month.
ON THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE A LAWYER: The LHC on Thursday sought replies from the federal and Punjab governments on a writ petition seeking enforcement of article 10(1) of the constitution which requires that no investigation or enquiry be held without the presence of a lawyer of the accused and no person will be denied his fundamental right to consult and be defended by a lawyer of his choice soon after the arrest.
The court issued this order on a petition moved by citizen, Abdul Wahid, in public interest through his counsel AK Dogar. He submitted that if the said article was enforced not only the citizens of this country would become safe at the hands of the police but bribery and corruption would also be minimised. The petitioner prayed the court enforce article’s implementation.