PHC summons home secretary in contempt case

Published September 30, 2021
A file photo of the Peshawar High Court. — DawnNewsTV/File
A file photo of the Peshawar High Court. — DawnNewsTV/File

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has summoned the provincial home secretary today (Thursday) in a contempt case for not complying with its orders to issue the licences of the weapons of prohibitory bore to lawyers.

A bench consisting of Justice Lal Jan Khattak and Justice Mussarat Hilali issued the order while hearing the petition filed by senior lawyers Saadullah Khan Marwat and others for the start of contempt proceedings against the home secretary for not implementing the court’s judgement on the matter in the last around five years.

A high court bench headed by then chief justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel (now a judge of the Supreme Court) had issued directions to the provincial government to award licences of prohibitory bore to lawyers for self-defence on the pattern of that of doctors and teachers.

The bench had accepted in 2015 a petition filed by lawyers Shabir Hussain Gigyani and Farmanullah and supported by the lawyer bodies, including the PHC Bar Association.

Lawyers challenge non-issuance of arms licences

The petitioners had requested the court to direct the government to give away licences of the weapons of prohibited bore to the lawyers to ensure they protect themselves during delicate law and order situations.

They had insisted that as the overall security situation was delicate, it had become necessary for lawyers to carry weapons for self-protection.

The bench had declared that the lawyers should apply for arms licences through the PHCBA or the relevant bar associations at the high court’s circuit benches in Mingora, Abbottabad, Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu.

The present petitioners contended that the high court had issued directives to the government on the matter in clear terms, but the respondents, including the home secretary, were reluctant to comply with the said orders.

COMMENTS SOUGHT: A high court bench consisting of Justice Syed M Attique shah and Justice Syed Arshad Ali has sought comments from the home secretary and the deputy commissioner and district police officer (DPO) of Khyber tribal district about a petition filed by a couple against the demolition of their houses by the police.

The petition was filed by a resident of Jamrud tehsil of Khyber tribal district, Nazir Khan, and his wife, Khan Zari, who said that they were neither involved in any illegal activity nor were they charged with committing any offence.

Advocate Daris Khan defended the petitioners and said that his clients possessed a house spread over 10 kanals of land.

He said on Aug 25, the local police led by the DPO and relevant SHO occupied the house by force and dragged the petitioners and their other family members out of it.

The lawyer claimed that the house was demolished with the help of heavy machinery without the issuance of prior notices to the petitioners.

He claimed that the petitioners had faced a loss to the tune of Rs12 million.

The counsel requested the court to declare the demolition of the house illegal and direct the relevant authorities to pay appropriate compensation to the petitioners for it.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2021

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