A judicial magistrate in Karachi directed the relevant authorities on Saturday to conduct a post-mortem examination of deceased lawmaker and television personality Aamir Liaquat Hussain, who passed away on June 9 and was buried the next day.
In a copy of the order, which is available with Dawn.com, Judicial Magistrate (East) Wazeer Hussain Memon stated, "It is crystal clear that the cause of death of deceased is still uncertain which itself has raised question on the death, either it is natural or unnatural, and could only be ascertained after exhumation of dead body and its examination."
He further wrote, "In the given facts and circumstances of the case at hand and particularly in light of guidelines set by honourable superior courts on the subject, I am of the considered view that disinterment of the body of deceased Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain is inevitable to determine the actual cause of his death in order to remove suspicions and clouds of doubt over his death."
Following Hussain's sudden death, the police said an autopsy would be conducted, but the move was refused by his family and the police conducted only a preliminary examination before relinquishing custody of the body.
On Friday (yesterday), a citizen named Abdul Ahad had filed an application in the court of Judicial Magistrate (East) Wazeer Hussain Memon, seeking Hussain's post-mortem, arguing that in light of previous "judgments passed by the superior courts, reasonable suspicion is considered to be sufficient, to ascertain the actual cause of death of the deceased to exonerate doubts".
He further contended that the deceased's heirs not giving consent for an autopsy was not a "legal/valid ground to deny the request" for a post-mortem examination.
The petitioner moved the court for holding "medical examination, disinterment, exhumation and post-mortem of the dead body of the deceased for the sake of justice and to discover and ascertain the real/actual cause of death of the deceased".
He also sought the issuance of directives for the Sindh health director-general to form a medical board for the purpose and send Hussain's samples to the Punjab Forensic Science Agency in Lahore for forensic examination and other tests.
The State, East district senior superintendent of police (SSP) and Brigade police station house officer (SHO) were nominated as respondents in the plea.
The court had fixed the plea for hearing at 9am today after issuing notices to the East district SSP, Brigade police SHO and Hussain's family.
It had reserved its judgement on the plea this morning after hearing arguments by the respondents' lawyers.
While presenting his arguments, Sajjad Ali Dashti, who was representing the state, said Hussain's heirs were objecting to his post-mortem examination saying that conducting the procedure would cause "pain to his soul".
"The heirs also say they have no doubts on anyone" in relation to Hussain's death, the lawyer added.
Moreover, a police report submitted to the court stated that according to the police surgeon, the cause of Hussain's death could not be ascertained until an "internal examination of the body is conducted".
The court had reserved its judgement on the matter after hearing these arguments and issued directions for Hussian's post-mortem examination later in the day.
The written order issued later in the day stated that while Hussain's children were his grave's custodians, "when the death is suspicious and there are chances of commission of an offence or otherwise, then it is the basic scheme of criminal law that criminal machinery has to be set into motion to unearth fact behind the scene."
Aamir Liaquat's death
Hussain, 50, had passed away at his house in Karachi's Khudadad Colony earlier this month.
Police had told Dawn at the time that according to his domestic staff, he was not feeling well, but did not go for a medical checkup. His health later deteriorated after which he was taken to the Aga Khan University Hospital, where he was pronounced as dead.
Police said Hussain’s residence had been sealed for further investigation after a crime scene unit examined the house and collected evidence.
Separately Karachi East Zone DIG Muquddus Haider had told Dawn that there appeared to be no injury marks on his body.
Police Surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed had told Dawn Hussain's body was brought to the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre's emergency ward around 3pm that day, and he was declared dead on arrival. While the body was shifted to the mortuary for completion of medico-legal formalities, the family refused to have an autopsy conducted, she said.
Hussain's former wife, Bushra Iqbal, with whom he had two children, had also confirmed that his "heirs, Ahmad Aamir and Dua Aamir, had refused his post-mortem.
"According to their wishes, the deceased will be taken to his last place of rest with respect," she had said in a post on Instagram.
Iqbal had added that Hussain would be buried at the graveyard at Abdullah Shah Ghazi's shrine.
But his burial had been delayed by hours amid an impasse between police and the deceased's family over the matter of his autopsy.
For their part, police had initiated proceedings under Section 174 (police to inquire to report in suicide, etc) of the Criminal Procedure Code for his post-mortem examination.
The matter was settled after it was taken to a judicial magistrate, before Hussain's heirs had appeared and given their statements on the matter.
Later, police surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed along with the judicial magistrate had reached the morgue where Hussain's body was kept and the body was handed over to the heirs after a preliminary examination.
Hussian was subsequently laid to rest on the premises of Abdullah Shah Ghazi's shrine.