A division bench of the Lahore High Court has asked the chief justice to refer a petition from former PPP MPA Aslam Madhyana seeking the removal of a terrorism offence from the charges against him to another bench after a judge recused himself.
The plea came up before the bench of Justice Rauf Ahmad Sheikh and Justice Shahid Hameed on Monday, but the former declined to hear it for personal reasons.
Madhyana has asked the court to remove Section 7 of the Anti-terrorism Act of 1997 from the charges against him in connection with an attack which left a schoolteacher with broken legs.
The former MPA’s counsel Azam Nazir Tarar had already given his preliminary arguments on the petition. He submitted that the findings of a medical board had already shown part of the allegations against his client as false. While the teacher had alleged that his injuries had been caused by gunshots, medical examination showed that his legs had been broken by blunt force.
He submitted that the teacher, Nafees Ahmed, had been injured in a fight at which Madhyana was not even present. In any case, he said, the incident did not constitute an offence under the Anti-terrorism Act. He urged the LHC not to allow an anti-terrorism court to try his client for terrorism, and to stay trial proceedings till his petition is decided.
According to the FIR registered on the teacher’s complaint, Madhyana and accomplices attacked him and broke his legs. The Supreme Court had taken suo moto notice of the incident and sought a report from all four chief secretaries about steps taken by the provinces for the safety of civil servants.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2012.