IHC permits Gill’s meeting with lawyers

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Seeks report from IGP of alleged police torture

The Islamabad High Court on Thursday allowed embattled PTI leader Shahbaz Gill’s lawyers to meet him, and sought a report from Islamabad police chief over reports of alleged torture on him while in custody.

IHC Acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq took up Gill’s plea against his physical remand and ordered authorities to allow Gill’s counsels to hold a meeting with their client at the hospital he is undergoing treatment at.

As the IHC hearing into PTI’s plea against Gill’s physical remand resumed, the police’s alleged mistreatment of him was at the centre of proceedings.

The Islamabad advocate general, additional attorney general and top police officials were summoned to the court, where the prosecutor insisted the firebrand party leader was not tortured.

A day earlier, a judicial magistrate had granted Islamabad police two-day physical remand of Gill and ordered officials to conduct a medical examination.

However, the PTI leader, who was booked in a sedition case, was being held at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, which falls within the jurisdiction of the Punjab government where the party is in power along with PML-Q.

In a bid to thwart the handover, arrangements were made to move Gill to Rawalpindi District Headquarters Hospital after he complained of breathing difficulties.

A standoff ensued but the Islamabad police finally managed to get Gill’s custody and moved him to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on Wednesday night.

Gill’s lawyers Faisal Chaudhry and Shoaib Shaheen represented him in the hearing. Additional sessions judge (east), the Islamabad inspector general of police, SSP investigation, SHO Kohsar, City Magistrate Ghulam Mustafa Chandio and the state were made respondents in the petition.

During the hearing, Gill’s lawyer Shaheen contended that the additional sessions judge did not follow the “guidelines” provided within the law. I have come to know that Gill has been admitted to Pims. The Adiala Jail superintendent has been summoned so that we can verify the facts, Justice Farooq said.

The hearing was subsequently adjourned till 3pm. When the hearing resumed, the Islamabad advocate general told the court that Gill refused to cooperate when a medical board team visited him for an examination.

Justice Farooq said the police’s reputation was being hurt because of the widespread reports of the PTI leader’s torture.

Meanwhile, the medical report issued by the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences today declared Gill’s medical condition as “satisfactory”.

“He does not have any heart problems,” clarified the report.

A medical team of four senior doctors conducted Gill’s medical examination.

 

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