LAHORE: Last week,the Lahore High Court (LHC) dismissed the appeals of two men convicted in an acid-attack case. Both of them were arrested in the court room.
Convicts Muhammad Yousaf and Ghulam Fareed of Faisalabad were on bail after the suspension of their jail term. Their counsel told the court that the Faisalabad police had registered an FIR against his clients in 2004 on allegations of throwing acid on Qalab Wali. “In 2004,the trial court had awarded seven years jail term to Yousaf and 10 years jail term to Fareed. In 2008,the high court suspended the punishments after finding lacunae in the investigation. The court had ordered their release on bail,” the counsel said.
He said that they were innocent and that the complainant had implicated them in a false case due to personal enmity. “They have nothing to do with the acid attack,”he said. The counsel requested the court to acquit both of them of charges and to declare the order of the trial court void. Punjab Additional Prosecutor General Abdul Samad told the court that the attack had taken place in broad daylight and in public place. “Several eye witnesses had recorded their statements before the trial court. The trial court had issued the judgment after finding the convicts guilty on the basis of the police investigation,the medical report and eye-witness accounts. They [the convicts] deserve no mercy and their appeals should be dismissed,” he said.
Treason case against MQM chief
Last week, a full bench of the LHC adjourned till April 27 hearing of petitions seeking the registration of a treason case against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief.
Altaf Hussain’s counsel Asma Jahangir submitted written arguments before the court.“No person or institute can lodge a high treason case. Only the federal government has the authority to do so. The petitioners are not the aggrieved persons and thus the petition is not maintainable. The ban on the speeches of Altaf Hussain is a violation of the Constitution and fundamental rights,” she said.
The bench put off the hearing to give more time to the petitioners to file a rejoinder.
The bench had earlier imposed a ban on media coverage of Altaf Hussain’s speeches. The petitioners had also sought proceedings under Article 6 of the Constitution against the MQM chief and the disqualification of his party parliamentarians.
The petitioners submitted that Altaf Hussain and eight of his party leaders had made speeches against the integrity of the country and the Pakistan Army on TV channels. “These MQM members are tarnishing the image of Pakistan in the world,” the petitioners had said.
They said that the speeches they had delivered were an act of treason.“So far, the government has failed to take action against them,” they said.
One of the petitioners said that he had sent an application to the prime minister and the Interior Ministry,seeking action against MQM leaders, but had received no response.
They said the people delivering speeches against the armed forces should be tried for high treason and sentenced.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2016.