ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday issued show-cause notices to the Superintendent and Medical Officer of Adiala Jail for delaying handing over custody of Mr Shahbaz Gill to Islamabad police for physical remand and directed them to submit written explanations before the next date of hearing of the case.

The Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) of Islamabad, Zeba Chaudhry, granted two days’ physical remand of Mr Gill to Islamabad police in connection with First Information Report (FIR) registered against him for allegedly inciting mutiny among armed forces.

Mr Gill, through his counsel advocates Faisal Hussain and Shuaib Shaheen, challenged the grant of remand in the IHC. However, through a miscellaneous application, the petitioner alleged that he had been subjected to torture while in custody of Islamabad police.

Acting Chief Justice of the IHC Justice Aamer Farooq took up the application and summoned the inspector general of Islamabad police, SP and medical officer of Adiala Jail the same day.

IHC asks Adiala superintendent, medical officer to submit written replies

He inquired from the IG of Islamabad about alleged torture on Mr Gill. The IG categorically denied the allegation and said the accused had been kept in police custody in accordance with the law.

However, Mr Gill’s counsel insisted that the police manhandled and tortured his client during the physical remand.

Justice Farooq perused medical report of Mr Gill and asked the counsel to point out if the report substantiates the allegation of torture of Mr Gill.

At this, the counsel referred to the social media reports, including tweets of some journalists, and said that these were the proof of the alleged torture.

The acting chief justice, however, remarked that only medical experts could bring facts on record. He, however, ordered a preliminary inquiry into the matter and tasked the IG with probing as to whether Gill had been tortured while in custody of police.

In response to the request of Mr Gill’s counsel of conducting a judicial inquiry of Mr Gill’s torture, Justice Farooq remarked that the decision in this regard would be taken in the light of the preliminary report to be conducted by Islamabad police IG.

The learned judge inquired from the Additional Superintendent of Adiala Jail as to why he did not hand over Mr Gill to Islamabad police despite release of Robkar at 4:30pm on Aug 17.

The court also inquired from him as to when Mr Gill had been handed over to Islamabad police. On this, the official replied that it was around 9pm.

Justice Farooq also inquired from the medical officer the same question. He informed the court that Mr Gill had been suffering from asthma since his childhood and his medical condition was not stable.

The court termed these replies “unsatisfactory” and directed them to submit written explanations on their behalf, along with relevant record, before the next date of the hearing of the case.

He warned the two officials that the court would start a contempt of court proceedings against them if their replies did not justify the delay in handing over Mr Gill to Islamabad police.

The court allowed the request of Mr Gill to meet his counsel.

Further hearing of the case was adjourned till Aug 22.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2022

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