PHC puts govt on notice over ‘harassment’ of PTI activists
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the provincial police chief and home secretary seeking their response to a petition about the alleged harassment of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf activists.
A bench consisting of Justice Abdul Shakoor and Justice Syed Arshad Ali issued the order after holding a preliminary hearing into a petition jointly filed by Nadeem Khan and 230 other PTI activists, who accused the police of illegally raiding their houses and harassing them and their families.
The petitioners requested the court to stop police from carrying out those “illegal” activities.
Lawyer Mohammad Muazzam Butt appeared for the petitioners and said the police had prepared the lists of PTI activists to take illegal actions against them.
Asks police chief, home secretary to file response on matter
He said policemen raided his clients’ houses, especially in the nighttime and mostly without women personnel, whose presence was mandatory under the law.
He claimed that the police had been violating the sanctity of home.
The lawyer said normally, the policemen, respecting the local traditions, didn’t enter houses and that houses were searched by policewomen.
When the bench wondered why the police harassed petitioners, the counsel said his clients belonged to the PTI and therefore, they had been victimised.
He claimed that his clients were not involved in any illegal activity and that their harassment was not “justified.”
DETAILS SOUGHT: A bench consisting of Justice Syed Mohammad Attique Shah and Justice Wiqar Ahmad has directed the anti-corruption establishment (ACE), National Accountability Bureau and police to submit within seven days the details of cases and inquiries against PTI leader and former state minister Ali Mohammad Khan.
It issued the order over a petition of Mr Khan, who was re-arrested six times and is currently imprisoned over a corruption case registered by the ACE in Mardan district.
The petitioner has requested the court to order law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies for the provision of the details of all cases and inquiries against him.
Advocate Ali Zaman appeared for the petitioner and said that the government, in order to pressure his client to leave the PTI, had been registering concocted cases against him and arrested him again and again.
He said that a few days ago, the government had informed the high court that besides the publicly known cases, the petitioner wasn’t wanted in any other case.
The lawyer, however, said when his client was granted bail by the special anti-corruption court on June 27 in a corruption case, he was re-arrested by the ACE claiming that a case was registered against him on June 26.
He contended that the petitioner had been behind bars since May 11 and as he had been arrested multiple times, there were fears that he would be taken into custody again if the special court ordered his release on bail in the ACE case in question.
Assistant advocate general Barrister Yaseen Raza said the petitioner had already been informed about the cases registered against him in the province.
He, however, said a general relief couldn’t be granted to the petitioner as he was unable to say in advance about the registration of any case in the future.
Meanwhile, the high court once again sought details from the home secretary and police department about the number of cases registered against former federal ministers Senator Azam Swati and Murad Saeed in the province.
When a bench consisting of Justice Abdul Shakoor and Justice Syed Arshad Ali began hearing into the matter, it was informed that the government had so far not submitted its reply.
Provincial president of the Insaf Lawyers Forum Qazi Mohammad Anwar filed the petition for Mr Swati and Mr Saeed.
Advocate Shah Faisal Uthmankhel appeared for the petitioner, whereas additional advocate-general Danyal Asad Chamkani represented the provincial government.
Mr Uthmankhel said the two PTI leaders had tried their level best to get information regarding any FIR or any order under the preventive detention laws related to them, but the provincial government and police “illegally” denied it.
He said the PTI leaders were willing to surrender to the high court if they formally learned about the cases pending against them.
Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2023