The Supreme Court’s inquiry committee holds Justice Khwaja Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif responsible for police torture on lawyers in Lahore

According to Supreme Court's Inquiry Committee, Chief Justice of Lahore High Court Khwaja Sharif wanted to teach lawyers a lesson; he authorized the police to manhandle lawyers.


2 October 2010
Police torture on lawyers in Lahore

The clash between lawyers and judges turned into one between lawyers and the police after charged lawyers insisted on taking out a rally, despite the imposition of Section 144 on The Mall.

Large contingents of police that had started deployment early Friday morning used tear gas, baton charge and brick-bats to stop lawyers of the Lahore Bar Association (LBA). Dozens of lawyers were injured in a confrontation that also left three policemen wounded.

The police arrested more than 100 lawyers on Friday after a thorough search of Aiwan-e-Adal courts, bar room, library, lawyers’ chambers and canteen. Police personnel also ransacked the bar room, damaging its furniture and breaking window panes.

The clashes started after a general house meeting when the lawyers decided to take out a protest rally led by LBA’s senior vice president Lubna Mahmood. The police teams deployed outside Aiwan-e-Adal forced the lawyers back inside the gate. After the initial scuffle, the lawyers started hurling bricks and bottles at the police, injuring three men.

The police responded by hurling tear gas shells into the court complex and an indiscriminate baton charge. The lawyers retreated back inside and the police did not follow them, returning to their positions outside the courts.

After about half an hour, a group of charged lawyers tried to take out a rally again, hurling stones at the police. They also tore down the walkthrough gate on the premises. This time the police entered the Aiwan-e-Adal and conducted a thorough search and arrested as many lawyers as they could.

During the course of making arrests, police beat up several lawyers. A library worker was also injured after he refused to let the police enter the library.

Source: Express Tribune, 2 October 2010

2 October 2010
CJP takes notice of police brutality against lawyers in Lahore

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Saturday took suo motu notice of the use of police force against lawyers in Lahore, amid an announcement by the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) that lawyers would observe a countrywide strike tomorrow (Monday).

The Supreme Court, in a statement, said according to the media reports, police entered court premises, including bar rooms and library, and injured many lawyers, including females. Notices have been issued to the Punjab home secretary, Lahore commissioner, district coordination officer and senior police officers, including the DIG operations and superintendents of police concerned, to appear in person and explain about the incident. They are also required to produce record, if any, as to whether any action has been initiated against police responsible for using force.

Source: Daily Times, 3 October 2010

4 October 2010
SC forms committee to probe lawyers-police clash

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday constituted a three-member committee to probe the clashes between lawyers and police in Lahore on Friday and submit a report on October 8.

A three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday was hearing a suo motu notice taken on Saturday by the CJP against clashes between police and lawyers at the Aiwan-e-Adl on October 2.

The committee comprises Justice (r) Mian Allah Nawaz, Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Kazim Khan and former Supreme Court Bar Association president Ali Ahmad Kurd.

The court asked the committee to seek assistance from senior lawyers, if required. It directed judicial officers of Punjab’s subordinate judiciary, who resigned in protest against the lawyers’ attitude towards the judiciary, to immediately withdraw their resignations and continue working. It observed that such tactics were not professional. Justice Ramday observed that it seemed police was hatching a conspiracy against the judiciary.

Source: Daily Times, 5 October 2010

15 October 2010
Inquiry Report submitted to the Supreme Court; Shahbaz Sharif and Justice Khwaja Sharif blamed

The Supreme Court’s nominated committee’s inquiry report on lawyers manhandling in Lahore, claims the police were ordered by the Punjab chief minister to teach the black coats a lesson.

The Supreme Court was hearing a suo motu case of the police torture on lawyers in Lahore last month.

Kurd who is a member of the investigation committee probing the issue presented his report in the court.

The report alleged that the Punjab Chief Minister, the Lahore High Court Chief Justice and the Punjab Chief Secretary issued orders for police to torture lawyers.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif should not have issued such an order.

The court asked IG Punjab Tariq Saleem Dogar to take action against the police officials involved in the case. It also adjourned the hearing till October 19.

IG Punjab Tariq Saleem Dogar said that a verbal order had been given by the chief minister.

Earlier this month, police reportedly entered the Lahore district courts, known as Aiwan-e-Adl – including bar rooms and library – and mercilessly thrashed the lawyers. Several lawyers, among them women, were wounded in the mayhem.

Source: Express Tribune, 15 October 2010

According to the Supreme Court's Inquiry Committee, Justice Sharif, CM Shahbaz Sharif and Chief Secretary Punjab are responsible for the police torture on lawyers in Lahore.

20 October 2010
Shahbaz Sharif, Justice Khwaja Sharif and Chief Secretary Punjab blamed in the Inquiry Report; Justice Ramday reluctant to punish the culprits

The Supreme Court committee tasked to inquire into the episode presented its report before the three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

Kazim Malik, vice-chairman of Pakistan Bar Council and a member of the committee submitted that Lahore High Court chief justice, Punjab chief minister and Punjab chief secretary are behind the scuffle between the lawyers and police. “With their support, police used brute force against lawyers,” Malik submitted, adding that police entered the Awan-e-Adl for the first time in history. “You have been tasked to resolve the matter, not to flare it up,” Justice Ramday cautioned.

Malik submitted that the role of police in the case is controversial, adding that an application was moved in an Indian court against its chief justice which was disposed of and similarly in this case the chief justice of Lahore High Court is involved.

He requested the bench to initiate proceedings in light of the investigation report and “this must also be inquired as to who ordered police to use force on lawyers and who ordered to register cases under anti-terrorism act against the lawyers”. He pleaded that the chief justice himself should intervene in the matter for its peaceful resolution.

The chief justice praised the effort put in by the inquiry panel, also including Mian Allah Nawaz and Ali Ahmed Kurd, and said “we are part of the bar and bench and no-one should be allowed to disgrace the bar”.

“We were hurt when watching such incidents and that’s why we took (the suo motu) notice,” Justice Chaudhry observed.

Justice Ramday clarified that the court is not backing either party, adding “we took notice to ensure justice”.

However, Kazim Malik kept insisting that the bench initiate proceedings and decide the matter on merit. “If the measure is not taken the situation would aggravate further”.

He submitted that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was overriding the issue and dictating that “such words” should be omitted from the report “such words should be written in such a way” while the report was being compiled.

The chief justice asked him to meet with LHC Chief Justice Khawaja Sharif and others and whatever you decide “will be acceptable to us”. Justice Ramday remarked that the committee was constituted to resolve the issue, not to flare it up and you should resolve it now”.

The court adjourned the hearing till October 29 and summoned the inspector general of Punjab on that date. He could not appear on Tuesday because of his engagement at the passing out parade in Sihala.

Source: Express Tribune, October 20th, 2010.



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