LAHORE:08 June: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Thursday dismissed a petition by PPP former MPA Aslam Madhyana, seeking transfer of his trial in the teacher’s torture case from Sargodha to Lahore or any other district.
The chief justice observed that an order could not be passed on mere apprehensions, adding that the petitioner should appear before the trial court in Sargodha. “If, according to petitioner, justice could not be done to him [while being tried in Sargodha], he can approach this court only in that case.”
The chief justice also directed the Sargodha Bar Association president to ensure protection of Madhyana’s counsel, appearing before the trial court.
The counsel for the accused submitted that the district bar association had passed a resolution against the petition, and now no lawyer was ready to defend him before the trial court. He said that under the law, every accused had the right to engage a counsel for his defence, but due to this reference, this right of the petitioner had been usurped.
He requested the court to shift the trial from Sargodha anti-terrorism court to the same court in Lahore or any other district.
A division bench postponed until June 11 the hearing of the petition of Aslam Madhyana, seeking removal of Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 from a case against him for allegedly torturing an elderly schoolteacher.
The bench deferred the hearing, as the state counsel could not appear because he was busy before the Supreme Court.
Madhyana’s counsel, Azam Nazir Tarar, had already completed his preliminary arguments on the petition seeking deletion of Section 7 of ATA from the FIR and transfer of the case to a court of ordinary jurisdiction (sessions court).
The counsel submitted that the allegations levelled against Madhyana were proven false, as a medical board had given opinion that the injuries were not caused to the teacher by any firearm. He said the board in its opinion held that blunt weapons were used which caused injuries to the victim.
He submitted that it was a normal brawl when the complainant got injured, and there were statements of witnesses that the petitioner was not present there. He further submitted that the fighting did not disturb the routine life of the people, as locals intervened and saved both the parties. He said that in such an incident, a case could not be lodged under any section of the ATA.
The counsel alleged that the petitioner was being tried under the anti-terrorism law, and as such the anti-terrorism court had no authority to try him.
He requested the court to issue directions to the ATC not to try the petitioner under terrorism charges. He also requested to stay the proceedings of the trial court until a final decision of this petition.
The police had arrested Aslam Madhyana from Johar Town.
Earlier, the MPA’s interim bail was cancelled by the LHC. Complainant schoolteacher Nafees Ahmad in the FIR alleged that Madhyana, with his stooges, attacked him after he raised an objection against his criminal acts.
The Supreme Court had also taken a suo motu notice of the incident and sought a report from all four provincial chief secretaries about steps taken to protect the lives and dignity of civil servants.Daily Times.