Lahore: The Chief Justice, Saqib Nisar, on Saturday said Almighty Allah bestowed him with the office to hold those accountable who killed people while wearing uniform.
The chief justice also remarked that every relative becomes a vulture after an affluent man passed away. What kind of justice is that, he lamented. The remarks came as the Supreme Court suspended former Lahore CCPO Amin Wains and Inspector Umar Virk, and directed the Punjab IGP to initiate departmental action against them in the light of the findings of an inquiry committee for forcing a widow to reach a settlement regarding precious properties.
Both Wains and Virk were accused of using their influence to make two widows of a famous super store’s owner and alleged investors in the business to reach a ‘settlement’. Chief Justice Nisar had ordered an inquiry into the matter wherein the officers were found guilty of abuse of power. Former IGP Punjab Kaleem Imam, now IGP Sindh, submitted the report before a two-judge bench and stated that the officers were found guilty of misconduct. He said the inquiry had recommended departmental action against them.
The Chief Justice Nisar asked how the police got involved in a case that was between unrelated claimants. The report revealed that justice (retd) Hamid Ali Shah of the Lahore High Court also acted as arbitrator to settle the matter. At this, the chief justice summoned the retired judge and warned him to stay away from the matter in future.
Expressing displeasure over the conduct of the police officers, Chief Justice Nisar observed that former CIA SP Umar Virk was found involved in every big dispute of the city. “But you failed to track down a dacoity incident,” the chief justice reminded Virk, now an inspector after demotion. “ Why an inquiry should not be ordered into your complete service record as you are also accused of staging fake counters,” he asked Virk. The chief justice directed DIG Abubakar Khuda Bukhsh to name an honest police officer to hold the inquiry.
The chief justice further directed the FIA to investigate about assets and income tax data of the two main investors of Akbari Super Store, owned by late Sheikh Muhammad Ajmal. The agency was directed to file its report within a fortnight. The chief justice also asked investigators to ascertain the validity of the claims made by the various claimants to the properties, asking that if any had claimed to be the deceased’s business partners, their tax records should reflect that. “If there are no tax records, they [the people laying claim to the property] are all thieves,” the chief justice said. “We cannot leave the people at the mercy of extortionists,” he said. Fauzia Ajmal, the second widow of the store’s owner, had filed an application to the chief justice, accusing the two police officers of coercing her to sign an agreement with the first widow Bilqees Begum and investors. Wains dismissed the report, saying IGP Imam had levelled false accusations and attacked his character. DIG Abubakar Khuda Baksh said they have requested registering a case against the police officers, and informed the court that the security establishment was directed to stop the deployment of police officer Amin Wains to any area till the matter is resolved.
In another case, the Supreme Court directed Punjab Advocate General Ahmad Awais to act as a mediator and settle the case relating to the official residence of former president Justice (retd) Rafiq Tarar. Tarar had approached the Supreme Court against a notice issued to him by the provincial government for vacation of his official residence. However, Awais told the court that the notice was withdrawn. The Chief Justice, Nisar, directed the top provincial law officer to look into the matter personally and effect a settlement.
The chief justice observed that the government should respect Tarar as he was a former president as well as a retired judge. Justice Nisar also stopped the government from taking any coercive measure without prior permission of the court.
Also, the Supreme Court allowed an appeal of Punjab government challenging a federal government notification regarding provision of full pension benefits to three judges of Lahore High Court despite having less than five-year service. Additional Advocate General Shan Gull argued before the court that only those judges were entitled to full pension benefits who served the high court for minimum five years. Whereas, he said the federal government under a special concession granted full pension benefits to three former judges of the LHC having less than five-year service including Rauf Ahmad Sheikh, Rustam Ali Malik and Khan Riazuddin Ahmad. The court allowed the appeal and set aside the impugned notifications of the federal government.
In yet another case, the Supreme Court gave another six-week time to Sialkot police to arrest the prime suspect involved in murder of a local journalist of Sambrial. The DPO Sialkot told the court that serious efforts were being made to arrest the suspect who has escaped abroad. He said a police team reached Dubai to arrest the suspect but he reportedly skipped to South Africa. The officer sought more time to arrest the culprit. Zeeshan Butt of Daily Nawa-i-Waqt was allegedly shot dead by Imran Aslam Cheema, chairman of a union council. Other suspects including Shahid Abbas, Saqlain and Shahid were already arrested by the police.