LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court on Saturday issued notices to the police on bail petitions of 46 lawyers arrested for their alleged involvement in an attack on the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC).

Judge Arshad Bhutta also issued show cause notices to the deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and the station house officer (SHO) of Shadman police station for not presenting record of the cases.

Supreme Court Bar Association’s vice president Ghulam Murtaza Chaudhry appeared on behalf of the lawyers and argued that the police had no plausible material to present against the arrested persons, nor they had been named in the FIRs.

He said most of the suspects were not present at the place of alleged occurrence and no specific role had been attributed to them in the FIRs. He said there was no need to keep the suspects behind the bars and they be released on bail.

ATC notices to police on lawyers’ bail plea

The judge adjourned hearing till Dec 16 and directed the police to present the record without default.

The legal fraternity continued its strike for the third day against the lawyers arrests in the wake of the PIC attack.

The courts in the provincial metropolis wore a deserted look as judges also adjourned cases without any proceedings. Security arrangements at the Lahore High Court and other courts also remained beefed up to avert any untoward incident.

The bar leaders announced that protest would continue till the release of the lawyers.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Bar Council (PbBC) has announced lawyers strike in the province till release of all ‘innocent’ lawyers from Monday.

A statement issued by PbBC Vice Chairman Chaudhry Shahnawaz Ismail said no lawyer would appear in the courts.

It further said that no police official would be allowed to enter the court premises in uniform.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2019