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Judges involved in residence dispute

November 08, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: A judge picked up along with seven others was detained at a police station for his alleged involvement in a raid on the home of another judge.

According to police and lawyers, the incident took place at an official residence in F-6/2 where the judges confronted each other along with their staff over its possession.

According to the police and the capital administration officials, the residence, owned by the Estate Office, was allotted to senior civil judge Mukhtar Ranjha around six years ago and was in his possession. However, the house was recently allotted to senior civil judge Sheikh Mohammad Sohail.

Two days ago, a city magistrate came to the house and handed over its possession to Mr Sohail after having it vacated by Mr Ranjha.

“On Saturday, Mr Ranjha, along with his staff, raided the house and threatened the workers and Mr Sohail’s staff,” the officials said. They said arguments and then a brawl broke out at the house.

Mr Sohail then reached the premises and the police moved the attackers to the Kohsar police station for further legal action.

Police said a large number of lawyers gathered outside the police station.

“There were two groups outside the police station demanding legal action against the other.”

An official said: “We are trying to settle the issue but the chances are meager. So far, the circumstances are leading towards the registration of a case.”

Another police official said Mr Ranjha was allotted the house around six years ago when he was a civil judge in Islamabad. However, there is no record with the Estate Office regarding the allotment to his name, as the allotment was cancelled after a week. The official said the judge had the possession of the house when he was transferred to Punjab.

Islamabad Bar Association president Zahid Mehmood Ranjha, however, said Mr Sohail – accompanied by the police – raided the house and assaulted Mr Ranjah and his staff. He said the police then detained Mr Ranjah and his staff.

He said Mr Ranjah had obtained a stay order from the court of first class civil judge Mubashir Chisti over the house but that the house was vacated by force despite the order.

He said Mr Ranjah last served as a judge in Muzaffargarh and that his resignation as a judge had not been accepted yet. He is now a National Assembly deputy secretary.

Bar association vice-president Chaudhry Khalid also confirmed the scuffle. In response to a question, he said Mr Ranjha had never served in Islamabad but that there was a chance he received an official residence as a federal employee.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2015

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