LAHORE: Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Anwar on Thursday told the Lahore High Court (LHC) that an investigation had been launched into the alleged threats to a judge of an anti-terrorism court (ATC) of Sargodha and his harassment by the intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

The IGP and other police officials appeared before the court following a notice issued on a complaint by District & Sessions Judge Muhammad Abbas, the presiding judge of ATC Sargodha.

Asked about the blockade of roads leading to the ATC Sargodha, the police chief said the security measures had been taken in the wake of the serious threats. He said a probe had also been initiated into the threats to the special judge.

Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan asked the IGP to find out who wanted to meet the judge.

The special judge, in his complaint, alleged that a message was conveyed to him that some officer in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) wanted to meet him in his chamber.

The chief justice observed that stopping people from going to courts sent a wrong message and asked the police chief under what law could lawyers and litigants be prevented from accessing the courts.

The chief justice asked the police how fundamental rights provided by the Constitution could be usurped. “If excuses are to be made, then the courts should be closed,” he said.

He questioned how police had arrested a large number of people in the May 9 events and could not make a single arrest for the attack on the high court. He said apparently the power was at the authorities’ discretion. The chief justice reserved the verdict on the matter.

D&SJ Abbas also alleged that since his posting at ATC Sargodha, he had been receiving some other oral reports from his family members who were still staying at his previous residence allotted to him as the judge of an anti-corruption court in Bahawalpur that some unidentified persons at night time damaged the Sui-gas meter installed outside the house.

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

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2024

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