Former MPA Aslam Madhyana’s plea – for the deletion of a section of the Anti Terrorism Act from the FIR registered against him by a teacher who has accused Madhyana of torturing him – was accepted on Monday by a division bench of the Lahore High Court.
Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik and Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan referred the case to the Sargodha district and sessions judge with directions that the case be given to “an ordinary court”. The judges also directed that the trial be completed in two months.
Madhyana had challenged the insertion of Section 7 of the Anti-terrorism Act 1997 in the FIR. He had also requested that the case be transferred from an anti-terrorism court to a court of ordinary jurisdiction (sessions court).
On behalf of the petitioner, Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar had submitted that a medical board, constituted on the request of the complainant, had declared the injuries to his legs had been caused by a blunt weapon.
The counsel said that owners of several shops in the bazaar, where the prosecution claimed the incident had taken place, had appeared before a special investigation team and had recorded their statements, according to which, Madhyana had not been in the market. He said that they had also stated that no gunshots were fired at the time the prosecution claimed the teacher had been attacked.
Advocate Tarar said the shops had not been closed after the occurrence, which was “proof” that public had not been terrorised. He said the ATA had been promulgated to try cases of organised terrorism and sectarianism and should not be used to settle personal scores.
The prosecutor had defended the insertion of Section 7 of the ATA, saying that the incident had caused panic among the people. Nafees Ahmad Khan, the complainant, also appeared before the bench, saying that he had been “tortured” by Madhyana and had lost his legs after he (the complainant) had called him (Madhyana) “choron ki nani” (the grandmother of thieves).
Published In The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2012.