LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has issued show cause notices of contempt to four police officials of Sargodha on a complaint by District & Sessions Judge Muhammad Abbas, the presiding judge of ATC, Sargodha, alleging harassment by the intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

“As the district police officer (DPO), Sargodha, DSP Headquarters, Sargodha, R.O. CTD Sargodha, and the concerned SHO have prima facie acted in a mala fide and contemptuous manner to restrain the lawyers, witnesses, prisoners and parties of the cases to approach the Anti-Terrorism Court for the exercise of their legal and constitutional rights to have the protection of law, therefore, a contempt notice is issued against them,” said an order issued by Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan on Thursday, the last day of his working in the LHC.

On Thursday, Chief Justice Khan was also given a formal farewell by his fellow judges on his elevation to the Supreme Court.

The chief justice had taken a suo motu notice on the complaint filed by the ATC judge and summoned the IGP and other high police officials last week.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the police reports, the chief justice issued show cause notices to the officials requiring them to submit written replies before the next date of hearing, which will be conducted by Justice Shahid Karim on June 27.

The order further says that serious allegations have been leveled in the special reports of the ATC special judge against ISI [officials] of Sargodha region, but no report on behalf of the sector in charge/commander, ISI, Sargodha Sector, or on behalf of federal secretary of defence, Islamabad, has been filed before the court.

It says as no respondent, except Punjab IGP, has filed their reports in this case, therefore, “they are directed to positively file their reports in this case before the next date.”

The ATC special judge had alleged that since his posting in Sargodha he had been receiving some oral reports from his family members, who are still staying at the 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.

He says a hefty electricity bill for the previous month has been received by his family, which was apparently fake, and possibility cannot be ruled out that the said bill has been sent, in connivance with the power distribution company (Disco) concerned, by the officials of the intelligence agency.

He also alleges that on the first day of his new charge as judge of the Sargodha ATC, a message was conveyed to him that some authority of ISI wanted to meet him in his chamber.

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

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2024

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