Cop torture: CJP declines request to suspend FIR against lawyers

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LAHORE, Oct 13 (APP):Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian
Saqib Nisar on Saturday declined a request for suspending
an FIR, registered against some lawyers for allegedly torturing
a police officer.
The CJP also denied the request for preventing the arrest
of the accused lawyers and sought a copy of video of lawyers’
assault on the police officer.
The chief justice was hearing a suo motu notice of
an incident wherein some lawyers had subjected a police officer
to torture at Lahore District and Sessions court premises.
At the outset of the proceedings, Lahore Bar Association
(LBA) President Malik Arshad and Secretary Sohail Murshad
appeared before the court, whereas a large number of lawyers
were also present.
The chief Justice expressed his dismay, saying that he
felt ashamed of such incidents.
To which, Malik Arshad submitted that no such step had
been taken which could bring shame to him (CJP), while terming
the incident a conspiracy. He complained that the police had
included Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) for slapping
a policeman.
At this, the chief justice observed that if the police
had included Section 7 of ATA illegally, then they could
approach him.
To which, Malik Arshad submitted that it was decided that
the courtroom videos would not be leaked. However, the chief
justice questioned that why that should not be done. He observed
that he was father of the institution, and he was ready to face
even abuses for protection of its respect.
But, LBA President Malik Arshad contended that he was the
bar president and he would not let down the bar.
At this stage, lawyers also chanted slogans of ‘shame, shame’
during the proceedings.
The top judge remarked that those chanting the slogans
should not come to his court the next time.
Malik Arshad, however, submitted that the slogan was for the
police and complained that the police attitude had been
“very bad”.
“I will tender my resignation, but I will not do injustice,”
the CJP said and added that he could not be pressurised with
hooliganism. He also observed that the video of lawyers assault
would be played at the next hearing to determine the responsible.
LBA Secretary Sohail Murshad asked the court to suspend
the FIR and prevent the arrest of the accused lawyers.
However, the chief justice turned down the request saying
that no orders would be passed till hearing the other side.
To which, the secretary submitted that a sit-in would be
staged outside the court.
The CJP, however, responded that if they stage the sit-in,
he would come and see it.
Subsequently, the CJP ordered that the video in question
be played during the next hearing and told the Punjab Bar
to continue its inquiry into the matter.
Later on, lawyers gathered outside the court and chanted
slogans against the police. The chief justice reached the
place and listened to their grievances. Lawyers told the CJP
that they were his soldiers and they would always protect
the respect of the judiciary.
The CJP had taken notice of the incident in which a group
of about 15 lawyers, led by advocates Saif Khokhar, Nabeel
Haider and Mustafa Khokhar, had attacked ASI Samar Riaz Khan
in the district and sessions court when he went there to
submit the record on Thursday.
The Islampura police had registered a case under terrorism
charges against lawyers for torturing, detaining and injuring
the policeman.