LHC to decide on Punjab govt request for judicial inquiry into Salahuddin’s death


LAHORE: The Lahore High Court’s (LHC) registrar on Monday said that a decision on the Punjab government’s request to nominate a high court judge to conduct a judicial inquiry into the custodial death of the alleged automated teller machine (ATM) robber Salahuddin Ayubi will be taken after the return of LHC Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan to the country.

In a letter written to the LHC registrar on Sept 11, the provincial government asked that “a judge of the high court be nominated to constitute a one-man tribunal to hold a judicial inquiry to ascertain the facts and circumstances for Ayubi’s death in police custody” and “to suggest measures to prevent any such incident in the future”.

In another letter written on Sept 5, the Punjab government had asked for the appointment a judicial officer to hold a judicial inquiry into the matter.

However, the high court’s registrar on Friday disposed of this request and said that a senior judge was already appointed to conduct an inquiry into Salahuddin’s death.

Earlier, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar had ordered a judicial inquiry into the matter which brought into light the police culture across the province which the PTI government repeatedly vowed to address.

A resident of Gujrat’s Kamonkey district, Salahuddin was arrested on Aug 31 from Rahim Yar Khan from an ATM booth where he was allegedly attempting another robbery. Two days later, he was reported dead.

According to the district police officer’s spokesperson Zeeshan Randhawa, Ayubi was behaving like a “mad man” in lockup when he “suddenly became unwell”.

Following Ayubi’s death, his father on Sept 4 filed an FIR (first information report) against police officials who, he claimed, had “brutally murdered” his son.

Subsequently, Rahim Yar Khan city Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Abbas Akhtar was suspended from service for alleged misconduct/inefficiency in handling the case and Rahim Yar Khan DPO Umar Farooq Salamat was also removed from his post.