LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) is yet to respond to a Punjab government request to nominate any of its judges for a one-man tribunal to hold a judicial inquiry into the death of suspected ATM thief Salahuddin Ayubi in police custody.

The home department had on Sept 5 written a letter to the LHC requesting that a judicial officer be appointed as one-man tribunal to hold judicial inquiry under section 3&5 (5) of Punjab Tribunal of Inquiry Ordinance 1969 for ascertaining facts and circumstances of the custodial death of Ayubi and to suggest measures to prevent any such incident in future.

However, the LHC did not entertain that request since a senior civil judge had already started judicial inquiry into the matter.

Later, the department sent another letter to the LHC registrar on Sept 11 with a little amendment and sought nomination of a judge of the high court to hold the judicial inquiry and to suggest measures to prevent any such incidents in future.

Registrar Abdul Sattar told the media on Monday that decision on the subsequent request of the government would be taken after the return of Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan from an official foreign visit. The chief justice would join the high court on Tuesday (today).

To a query about action against video-leak judge Arshad Malik, the registrar said an inquiry by a sitting judge of the LHC into the matter was in progress as directed by the administration committee.

He said the matter would be sent to the competent authority after the inquiry judge submitted his report.

The LHC had on Sept 14 made judge Arshad Malik an OSD (officer on special duty) since the date of his suspension. The Islamabad High Court had suspended him and repatriated him to the LHC on Aug 22, 2019.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2019