The Supreme Court has ordered the Punjab inspector-general to file an FIR of the attack on PTI Chairman Imran Khan within 24 hours.
The apex court’s orders came during a hearing on the contempt of court case against Khan on Monday, following the November 3 assassination attempt in Wazirabad on Imran Khan which left him injured during his party’s much-touted anti-government long march towards Islamabad.
At the outset of the hearing, Justice Bandial condemned the assassination attempt on Khan’s life and asked his lawyer Salman Akram Raja whether an FIR was registered as of yet.
The PTI chair’s lawyer told the court that a case of the attack on Khan has yet to be registered.
“I am not aware about the FIR. An attempt was made to register an FIR but I don’t think it has been registered as of yet,” said Raja.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, addressing the Punjab advocate-general, said that under the criminal justice system, the police can file an FIR on their own and that 90 hours have passed [since the attack] and an FIR has not been filed.
“If the police did not investigate, the evidence may have been destroyed at the crime scene. This way the evidence of the case will be controversial and will be unacceptable in court,” the CJP lamented.
At this point, Punjab IG Shahkar appeared before the bench and informed that the Punjab government had prohibited the registration of the FIR.
“I have heard about your achievements at the international level, register the FIR and inform us about it,” the CJP to told the cop. He also directed the province’s top cop to keep on working, assuring that if someone would intervene the court would look into it.
The top judge of the country also directed the Punjab Police chief to assign an honest officer to investigate the attack on Imran Khan.
“We have seen your resignation. The court assures you that no one will intervene in actions taken by you as per the law,” said the CJP.
At this, the IG informed the court that Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi had some objections to the registration of the case.
“The registration of the case has some political angles to it but the police also have authority,” said Shahkar.
Justice Bandial directed the Punjab Police chief to keep working as per the law. He added that if there is a delay in the registration of the FIR then they will take up the case as a problem in the criminal justice system.
“Chief minister’s objections cannot stop the police from registering the case,” said the CJP.
The CJP ordered the Punjab IG to register an FIR of the attack within 24 hours and said that if the case is not registered, the court would take suo motu notice.
Azam Swati case
During the course of the hearing, PTI Senator Azam Swati also appeared in court.
Upon seeing him, the CJP remarked that what happened to him was “very painful”.
“Your case is ongoing in Human Rights Cell. The court is careful in this matter, the case will be seen according to the law,” said the CJP. He also told the senator that he never stayed at in Supreme Court’s rest house.
“Yes, you’re right I stayed in Quetta federal loges,” told the senator.
The top judge of the country also directed PEMRA and PTA to remove the alleged video of the senator.
SC to summon report from investigators in Kenya
The chief justice also spoke about the letter written by slain journalist Arshad Sharif’s mother to the chief justice.
“HRC is investigating Arshad Sharif’s mother’s letter,” said the CJP. He added that the court will see the fact-finding commission’s report on Arshad Sharif’s murder.
“An Investigation team has gone to Kenya for probe. We are summoning a report from the commission,” said the CJP. He added that once the material comes then it will be easy for them to provide assistance, saying that without evidence the court will keep moving its head here and there.
The contempt case
The delay in the registration of the FIR on Imran Khan’s attack, Azam Swati’s alleged video and Arshad Sharif were taken up by the CJP during the hearing of the contempt plea filed against the PTI chief.
On October 13, the federal government filed a contempt of court plea against PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the Supreme Court over his long march call to Islamabad.
In its petition, the federal government told the apex court that the PTI chief is making announcements of marching towards Islamabad, which was a violation of a court order.
“Imran Khan is making announcements to attack Islamabad,” says the plea. It urged the top court to direct the PTI chief to ensure the implementation of its orders related to protests and sit-ins.
The petition has been filed by the interior ministry on behalf of the federal government.