An anti-terrorism court (ATC) rejected the bail pleas of five lawyers in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) attack case who were then arrested by the police from the courtroom on Tuesday.
ATC Judge Raja Jawad Abbas Hasan presided over the case on the pre-arrest bail pleas of advocates Shahista Tabassum, Yasmin Sindhu, Bushra Saleem, Mairaj Tarin, and Shehla Bibi.
After the conclusion of arguments, the court rejected the bail pleas of Tarin and Tabassum and dismissed the petitions of the other three lawyers.
It must be noted that Tabassum, Tarin, and Sindhu did not appear before the court while Bushra and Shehla were in attendance.
After the verdict was delivered, the police booked the applicants who were present on the occasion and sent them to Adiala Jail on judicial remand while the hearing was adjourned until June 15.
Meanwhile, IHC served a notice to the federation in contempt of court case, involving advocate Farzana Faisal. The case was presided over by Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb.
The petitioner’s lawyer maintained that his client was attending a funeral when the IHC building was stormed. The applicant demanded the court to extract the call detail record (CDR) of her cellphone.
The court further inquired about the progress on the notice issued in the previous hearing and remarked that the petitioner has pleaded with the court to issue orders adjourned the hearing until June 16.
SC hears petition against Eden Gardens
The Supreme Court (SC) issued notices to Punjab advocate general (AG) and Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) on the petition relating to the conversion of the land of a private housing society, Eden Gardens, and sought answers from them.
During the hearing presided over by a two-member bench headed by Ijazul Ahsan, the apex court said that the court gave six years to the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) to complete the project. However, they were back to square one again after two years. The court has to protect the rights of the affectees, he added.
The DHA's counsel said that the new site of the housing scheme was linked to the authority and it would be handed over to the affectees after six years.
Justice Ahsan asked about the guarantee that the land would be purchased for the scheme in two years. He added that it was uncertain if the private owners sold their lands or not and asked if any survey of the new site was carried out.
At this, the lawyer said that the owners would jack up the rates of their properties if the site plan is made public. He added that the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) had no say in the affairs after the RUDA law was passed.
Justice Ahsan remarked that there were more than 11,000 affectees of the private housing society and issued notices to the concerned authorities. The hearing of the case was adjourned indefinitely.
SC notice against MPA ineligibility
The SC also issued a notice to the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) against the ineligibility of a Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) from Bahawalnagar.
A two-member bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial presided over an ineligibility case against PML-N MPA from PP-241 Muhammad Kashif.
During the hearing, Justice Muneeb Akhtar said that it was a matter of domain and they could not neglect it.
The petitioner’s lawyer Barrister Qamar Sabzwari argued that the MPA from Bahawalnagar could not be declared ineligible by IHC, adding that the high court went beyond its domain. He said that the lawmaker’s degree was verified by the university.
The defendant’s counsel Naeem Bukhari said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) conducts elections in the whole country and, therefore, its decision could be challenged in the IHC.
At this, Justice Akhtar said that that ex-minister Khawaja Asif was a member of the National Assembly while the petitioner was a provincial lawmaker.
Justice Bandial remarked that the petition in the high court was not against ECP’s decision or notification but it was declaring the MPA ineligible. Bukhari said that the petitioner sometimes claims to be FA Pass and sometimes called himself BA Pass.
Justice Akhtar commented that the issue of jurisdiction was substantially important and non-negligible while Justice Bandial said that they were issuing notice to the attorney general for legal assistance.
The court remarked that most of the judges were working during holidays and it is likely possible that the case gets fixed for hearing soon. Notably, the apex court had already voided IHC’s decision regarding the ineligibility of the MPA.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2021.