LHC grills Punjab IGP over failure to control law and order situation

Hearing adjourned till October 19


Rana Yasif October 14, 2020
Lahore High Court. PHOTO: LHC.GOV.PK

LAHORE:

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday grilled Inspector-General of Police Inam Ghani over his department’s failure in controlling law and order in the province as well as the involvement of police officials in occupying commoner’s properties.

LHC Chief Justice Qasim Khan presided the hearing of a case against Elite Force over the alleged occupation of abandoned Waqf Property Board’s trust land.

During the hearing, the judge also reprimanded the IGP over announcing a prize money of Rs5 million for Abid Malih’s – the main accused in Lahore Motorway gang rape – arrest.

“Is it justified that prizes are being announced for cops over making arrests of culprits, where do you want to take the police department? It means the police will not make an arrest until prizes are announced”, the CJ remarked. “Whose duty was to arrest Abid Malih, was it not the job of the police, the CJ remarked?”

The judge asked what the police was doing as rapists are not arrested in time and proclaimed offenders are moving freely.

“I will not let make the province a police state,” the CJ said. "I will see how the IGP will remain at his post if the guilt proves on part of the police.”

The counsel of the Waqf Property Board has asked the court for time to submit a reply.

“Why has the police occupied the evacuee trust property?” the judge asked the province's top police official. “Submit an affidavit before the court on your stance.”

Ghani prayed upon the court that they had never occupied any land till date.

To this, the petitioner’s counsel Asif Imran Awan told the court that it was astonishing to see the province’s top cop lie before the court.

He implored that he had a complete record which was enough to establish that the petitioner had obtained the land from evacuee trust property on lease in 2011 and police occupied it in in 2020.

The law officer implored the court that Elite Force’s school had been constructed on land which they later came to know was an evacuee trust property.

“You mean you people were unaware before construction and then came to know it was the land of evacuee trust property? The police’s action is tantamount to occupying the land,” the CJ remarked.

Counsel Awan contended that Elite Police had scattered land measuring 72-kanal 7 marlas. The then-DIG Elite Force wrote to the evacuee trust to replace its [trust's] 72-kanal 7 marla land with their scattered land.

After that the petitioner obtained the scattered land on lease from the trust and the elite force occupied that land too.

Meanwhile, the petitioner’s counsel argued that the petitioner was being harassed by the police officials and threatened with dire consequences since he filed this petition.

Adjourning the hearing till October 19, Justice Qasim directed to club the case with with the case wherein the IGP’s appointment was challenged.

The court also directed the petitioner to approach the IGP for registering a First Information Report (FIR) against officials who are harassing and posing threats to him.

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