Court orders filing of criminal case against interior minister, Lahore CCPO
LAHORE – A Sessions Court in Lahore Wednesday ordered registration of a criminal case against Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan and top police officials for allegedly torturing lawyers in the provincial capital on the day of the PTI’s Azadi March on May 25.
The order was issued after a lawyer named Haider Majeed Advocate petitioned the court and also accused the local police of not registering a case on his application. Barrister Hassan Niazi and other lawyers represented the petitioner, while a video of the incident was also played in the courtroom.
The petitioner sought the registration of the case against the interior minister, Lahore CCPO, DIG Operations, SP Esa Sukheri (North Cantt Lahore), SP Waqar Azeem Kharal, DSP Akber Ali, SHO Asad Abbas and others.
After hearing arguments on the petition, Additional Sessions Judge Mian Mudassar Umar Bodla ordered the relevant Station House Officer to register a criminal case under Section 154 (information in cognisable cases) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and process the matter “in accordance with the law”.
The court order stated that the petitioner and his colleagues were boarding their vehicle when they were pulled over by the police. It went on to say that the petitioners were “baton-charged, humiliated, disgraced and their vehicle was damaged badly” even though they were cooperating with law enforcers.
The court subsequently asked the petitioner to approach the relevant SHO with a copy of the court order to proceed with the matter.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s march for haqiqi azadi — true freedom — was preceded by the authorities invoking of Section 144, a measure used to curb gatherings. The government also placed shipping containers on major thoroughfares to block the path of protesters, claiming that it was aimed at spreading “chaos and disorder”.
Undeterred by the moves, the marchers, who tried to force through the containers to make their way to Islamabad, were met with tear gas as police tried to disperse them. Police also charged at them with batons.
Last week, Imran had posted on Twitter a video montage of the alleged police brutality and termed it “condemnable and unacceptable”.
“Flouting the Constitution and Supreme Court orders, this criminal imported government unleashed police brutality on our peaceful Azadi March protesters,” he said, adding that raids were also conducted at PTI members’ homes in Sindh and Punjab the night before the march.
He had also said that the party would be petitioning high courts to seek registration of cases against those responsible for using force against his party workers during their march.