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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Interior Ministry To Assess Gill Torture Case Per IHC Order

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill is accused of being tortured while held in custody. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered the Interior Ministry to conduct an investigation.

In a lengthy 21-page ruling on PTI leader Shahbaz Gill’s plea challenging the sessions court’s order to grant him two days of physical remand in the sedition case, the IHC’s single bench, which included Acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, issued the instructions to probe into Shahbaz Gill torture case.

The bench stated that given the claims of torture made on behalf of the petitioner, the situation cannot be overlooked since it may have major repercussions for subsequent investigations.

The court is keeping an eye on the situation and looking into it because arguments were made about it and it received media attention, which led to concerns being raised about the illegal practices, allegedly used by police during investigation, even though no specific request has been made for doing anything about the alleged torture the petitioner has been subjected to.

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The IHC bench said in the judgment, “However, it would be only appropriate that Ministry of Interior, government of Pakistan should look into the matter and appoint an inquiry officer preferably a retired judge of the High Court to examine the issue and make detailed findings on the same and also suggest ways to curb the practice.”

The bench observed, “The register/record of the Central Jail Adiala, Rawalpindi does mention certain bruises and other marks on the body of the petitioner when he was taken in. Bench observes torture on prisoner to extract evidence is prohibited under Article 14 (2) of Constitution under Rule 20 of the Prison Code Rules for the Superintendence and Management of Prisons in Pakistan, when a prisoner with injuries on his body is admitted into a prison from police custody, he shall be examined immediately by the medical officer.”

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In addition, Justice Aamer noted that although the medical officer did mention some marks on the petitioner’s body, it appears that nothing further was done about them given that no announcement was made to the sessions judge, the superintendent of police, or the office of the advocate general in Islamabad.

According to Article 14(2) of the Constitution, no prisoner shall be subjected to torture for the purpose of extracting evidence, he added that using torture of any kind to obtain evidence is forbidden.

The IHC bench concluded the case after giving the aforementioned instructions. The court had also rejected the application for extension in Gill’s physical remand on Tuesday.