LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan on Wednesday summoned Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Anwar and other officials on a complaint by the presiding judge of an anti-terrorism court of Sargodha alleging harassment by the intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

The LHC registrar office received a special report on June 7 from District & Sessions Judge (D&SJ) Muhammad Abbas, wherein he said on May 25, the first day of his new charge as judge of the ATC Sargodha, a message was conveyed to him that some authority of ISI wanted to meet him in his chamber.

But, the judge said, he straightaway refused to meet him (the alleged authority).

The judge said ever since, he had been receiving some other oral reports from his family members, who are still staying at his previous residence allotted to him as judge of an Anti-Corruption Court, Bahawalpur, that some unknown persons at night time damaged the sui-gas meter installed outside the house.

Chief Justice converts the complaint into a contempt petition

He submitted that an electricity bill for the previous month with a huge amount has been received by his family, which was apparently a fake and possibility cannot be ruled out that the said bill has been sent with the connivance of Disco concerned by the crew of the intelligence agency.

The judicial officer further reported that his relatives are being teased by some unknown questioners with regard to his personal information.

He also reported an incident of firing on June 6, which damaged a transformer installed outside the main gate of the ATC.

The special judge sent another special report to the registrar on June 10 saying 19 post-arrest bail petitions and trials of nine other cases were fixed before his court on the said date.

He said the prosecution department moved an application for adjournment in two of the cases on the pretext that the prosecution has moved an application before the LHC for transfer of the cases but he declined the request to adjourn the cases as no stay order was produced before him.

He added that later on the same day the staff of the court and the in-charge police guard of ATC Sargodha told him that all roads leading to the court have been blocked on account of alleged threat alert. He said no one including the litigants were allowed access to the court. Even the under-trial prisoners were not produced by the police, he added.

The judge said the DSP concerned, when asked, was unable to give any satisfactory answer to the situation.

In his order, Chief Justice Khan noted that D&SJ Abbas enjoys a good reputation and he is an honest and hardworking judicial officer of this institution.

He said the judicial officer levelled serious allegations in his reports regarding the threats and harassment.

The chief justice converted the complaint of the judge into a contempt petition and issued a notice on it.

The chief justice summoned the IGP, regional police officer and district police officer in person for Thursday (today).

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2024

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