2012 review: High-profile cases in lower courts

Published: January 2, 2013

1) Law Minister Rana Sanaullah; 2) the site of a shootout at the sessions court; 3) actress Meera; and 4) the Orient Labs factory collapse. PHOTOS: FILE

LAHORE: 

Some high-profile litigants drew attention to subordinate courts during the year 2012 as did a number of unpleasant incidents on the court premises.

The courts decided several cases of prominent figures. The cases are as fellows:

On January 7, an accountability court awarded 14-year imprisonment to Syed Sibtul Hassan Shah Gillani alias Double Shah convicting him of cheating people out of Rs441.347 million.

A case involving DSP Riasat Bajwa and some other police officials was dropped on February 16 after the heirs of the deceased pardoned them.

On June 20, a judge dismissed a petition seeking a case against Malik Riaz, owner of the Bahria Town, accusing him of trying to bribe judges.

A judge confirmed, on October 8, the interim bail of chief minister’s former principal secretary Tauqeer Shah and staff officer Talha Burki. The two were charged with releasing false intelligence reports about a murder plot on former LHC chief justice Khawaja Sharif.

Seven doctors withdrew their bail petitions from the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Nisar Ahmed, on November 13, after the LHC directed the police to quash an FIR against them. The doctors were accused of removing the drip on an infant that caused his death, during a Young Doctors’ strike.

Cricketer

On October 22, Judicial Magistrate Imtiaz Ahmed framed charges against former Pakistan batsman Ijaz Ahmed who was accused of cheque fraud.

The Gulberg police had registered the case against Ahmed on the complaint of two property dealers who said he had given him Rs11 million cheques that bounced.

NICL scam

A court granted bail, on February 10, to Mohammad Maalik and Mohammad Khalil allegedly involved in the National Insurance Corporation Limited (NICL) scam. Moonis Elahi, son of Deputy Prime Minister Pervez Elahi, was acquitted in the case in 2011.

Political leaders

A court, on April 21, directed police to register an FIR against PML-N Law Minster Rana Sanaullah, Abdul Ghafoor, Mian Nauman and others for organising a rally on The Mall, violating the orders of the Lahore High Court.

On June 9, a court dismissed a petition seeking a case against Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani, son of former prime minster Yousaf Raza Gilani, and another man allegedly involved in obtaining Rs380,000 by promising the petitioner an appointment in the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited.

A judge granted bail, on October 19, to Ali Imran Yousaf, son-in-law of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif , his bodyguard Zafar Hussain and Elite Force officials Riaz, Yousaf, Mohsin, Maqsood, Fareed, Nawab and Khalil. They were accused of thrashing a bakery employee, Irfan, for offending a lady of the family.

On December 18, District and Sessions Judge Nazir Ahmed Ganjana summoned two former MPAs and an MNA for January 15 on different petitions filed by the Regional Election Commissioner, Lahore, seeking legal action against them for having dual citizenship.

On December 21, a notice was issued to Ghulam Mustafa Khar for January 10 on an appeal filed by a petitioner who claimed to be his wife.

An accountability court acquitted, on February 29, PML-N minister Rana Nazeer Ahmad in two references filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau. He had been charged with misappropriating Rs46.37 million.

Actresses

On October 18, a civil judge allowed actress Meera to live at a house in Defence Housing Authority (DHA).

On September 25, Sanam, a drama actress, sought a case against a man for threatening to kill her.

Fatima Hussain alias Afreen’s application for pre-arrest in a misappropriation was dismissed on February 3.

Naureen Ali was directed, on March 18, to approach police for an FIR against Mohammad Imran, a drama actor, who she said had threatened her and her family.

On October 17, Khushbukht alias Sofia Mirza was bailed in a maid-kidnap case. On November 20, the actress was granted bail in a fraudulent car sale case.

Scuffles

A number of scuffles among lawyers, police officials, prisoners, judges and litigants were reported in 2012.

On March 2, more than 30 lawyers allegedly beat the Samanabad station house officer and a constable as the SHO had registered case against a lawyer.

Mohammad Zafar, reader of Civil Judge Mohammad Aslam, was allegedly thrashed, on April 6, by lawyers who also abused the judge.

A group of lawyers thrashed, on September 24, Gowalmandi ASI Sadaqatullah for not registering a case.

Judges’ protest

On March 15, tswenty-four additional district and sessions judges wrote to Lahore High Court Registrar Sohail Nasir requesting to be transferred away from Lahore owing to maltreatment by lawyers. The judges accused the lawyers of harassment to obtain undue favour from courts.

Singers

On December 19, Civil Judge Imran Shahbaz summoned singer Abrarul Haq in a suit seeking Rs100 million damages. Singer Jawad Ahmed had filed the case against Abrar for allegedly defaming him in a TV show.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Malik Tariq Mehmood Zargham sought, on December 22, comments from the Old Anarkali SHO on a petition seeking a case against singer Humaira Channa for not paying a jeweller for the jewels purchased.

On July 28, a judge also disposed of a petition filed by folk singer Akram Rahi seeking registration of case against four men and one woman allegedly involved in extorting money for getting transferred property in rRahi’s name.

‘Blasphemy’ murder

On November 28, Additional District and Sessions Judge Malik Khizar Hayat Khan granted bail to a man accused of involvement in killing former LHC judge Arif Iqbal Hussain Bhatti. Malik Khizar Hayat granted post-arrest bail to Ahmed Sher on his application under Section 344 of the CrPC.

Sacrilege

On January 19, Additional District and Sessions Judge Hamid Hussain awarded life imprisonment to a man, Muhammad Ameen, for burning pages of the Holy Quran.

Factory collapse

On November 28, bails were granted to three accused in the Orient Labs fire for allegedly showing negligence that caused a building collapse in which 26 people died.

‘Fake’ medicine

Bails were granted on March 19 to three Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) deputy medical superintendents for allegedly showing negligence that claimed the lives of around 150 cardiac patients at PIC.

Bails were granted, on December 18, to two accused for allegedly selling a poisonous cough syrup Tyno that claimed 17 lives.

Murders

As many as 306 murder cases reported in 2008 or earlier are still pending with the sessions court. According to the National Judicial Policy, these should have been decided by December 31, 2012.

Case against CCPO

Additional District and Sessions Judge Rai Mohammad Ayub Marth, on April 6, directed the inspector general of police, Punjab, to register a case against the Lahore CCPO for disobeying the court orders.

Shezan issue

On February 10, the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) banned a soft drink, Shezan, in subordinate courts, calling it an ‘Ahmadi business’. The bar representatives took this decision on the demand of the Khatm-i-Nabuwat Lawyers Forum. However, rights activists condemned the decision and as harassment of religious minorities. Later, the LBA backpedalled from its position.

Prisoners’ strike

Prisoners, on April 7, observed a strike in the judicial lockup of the sessions court and refused to appear before the court to protest against desecration of Holy Quran.

On April 14, Additional District and Sessions Judge Mohammad Anwar Butt directed the Lahore CCPO to take action against the Shahdara DSP and SHO allegedly involved in challaning a man who had already been acquitted by the court in the same offence.

Attacks

On more than 10 occasions, prisoners attacked one another and police officials. A prisoner attacked, on April 28, another prisoner at the judicial lockup of the Cantt courts with a paper cutter.

On November 18, prisoners belonging to two groups attacked each other with blades and paper cutters at the judicial lockup of the Model Town courts.

Four prisoners and a constable were injured in the incident.

Consumer court

A consumer court, on May 29, passed a decree of Rs1,509,430 against a tracking company for not returning a stolen car and destroying evidence.

Battlefield

On June 30, security lapses raised eyebrows after a prisoner shot dead another prisoner in the judicial lockup of the sessions court. The killer was, later, killed by police.

Fire

A fire broke out on June 4 at the malkhana of the district courts, reducing hashish, forged currency, liquor and prosecution evidence in several cases to ashes. The cause of fire could not be ascertained.

Addresses

In his address to the LBA, on January 21, Justice (retd) Wajihuddin addressed said Article 248 of the Constitution did not provide complete immunity to the president of Pakistan.

On June 6, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan addressed the LBA. He said the courts should decide all cases on merit.

Jamaat-i-Islami Amir Munawwar Hassan addressed the LBA on October 24. He condemned the government policies on Taliban and India.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2013.

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