Police commandos escort a vehicle carrying the suspect in the gang-rape case as they leave the court 
premises.—M Arif/White Star
Police commandos escort a vehicle carrying the suspect in the gang-rape case as they leave the court premises.—M Arif/White Star

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday allowed police to shift the prime suspect in the Lahore-Sialkot motorway gang-rape case to jail for his identification parade.

Police had arrested Abid Malhi in Manga Mandi on Monday.

Malhi and co-suspect Shafqat Ali alias Bagga, already on judicial remand, were produced before the ATC amid strict security, with their faces muffled.

Investigating Officer (IO) Inspector Zulfiqar Ali filed an application in the court seeking permission to shift the prime suspect to the judicial lock-up for the identification parade.

LHC suspends Pemra ban on media coverage of the incident

Presiding Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta allowed the police to shift the suspect to the judicial lock-up for 14 days and directed the jail authorities to make special arrangements so that the identity of the suspect could not be disclosed to other inmates. The judge also directed the IO to submit a report on Oct 27 after concluding the proceedings of the identification parade.

The IO also sought a 30-day physical remand of co-suspect Shafqat for the purpose of recovery of weapon of the offence and interrogation.

However, the judge allowed only a 15-day physical remand of the co-suspect and directed the police to produce him again on Oct 28.

Pemra notification suspended

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday suspended a notification of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) regarding a ban on the coverage of the motorway gang-rape incident in the media.

A two-judge LHC bench comprising Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan and Justice Shakilur Rehman Khan issued the order on a petition filed by a local television channel, Roz News.

Advocate Abuzar Salman Khan Niazi, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, contended that the ban was in clear violation of Article 19 of the Constitution, which guaranteed freedom of speech and the press.

The chief justice observed that the right to information could not be usurped. He also questioned the media coverage of ministers’ press conferences on the gang-rape incident and summoned the record from Pemra.

The bench suspended the impugned notification of Pemra, but directed the media to not show pictures of the suspects and the complainant.

Pemra had on Oct 2 put the impugned ban in compliance with an order passed by an anti-terrorism court on an application filed by the officer investigating the gang-rape incident.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2020

Opinion

The ECI headache
08 May 2021

The ECI headache

The ECI sat mute while BJP held huge rallies without following SOPs.
Engaging the enemy
08 May 2021

Engaging the enemy

The ghost of the Musharraf formula has started to haunt the current backchannel process.
Will OIC confront France?
Updated 08 May 2021

Will OIC confront France?

For Pakistan to keep its GSP-Plus status it will have to show the EU that it treats its blasphemy accused fairly.
Standing by Kashmir
Updated 07 May 2021

Standing by Kashmir

A comprehensive failure of governance is always a comprehensive moral failure of the governors.

Editorial

Updated 08 May 2021

Delayed poll debate

THE debate on electoral reforms is going nowhere. Even though the major political parties say reforms are critical,...
08 May 2021

Reducing deficit

THE numbers show that the government has managed to arrest growth in fiscal deficit — the difference between the...
08 May 2021

Rise in dog bites

ON Wednesday, an unusually high number of dog-bite cases were reported in Larkana, when 19 people — the majority ...
Reprimanding envoys
Updated 07 May 2021

Reprimanding envoys

The prime minister should have engaged with honest and respectable officers to identify how solutions can be found.
07 May 2021

Foreign funding case

THE foreign funding case against the PTI has become a never-ending tale. It has been dragging on for years and after...
07 May 2021

Water woes

IRRIGATION experts have voiced concern over the decline of freshwater flow through Kotri barrage, which has led to...