ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday directed Inspector General of Police, Islamabad    to submit a report as to the allegations of torture on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill during police custody.

A single bench of IHC comprising Acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq issued the directions while hearing Gill’s petition against the sessions court’s decision of granting his two days’ physical remand in the sedition case. The PTI leader moved the petition through his lawyers   and cited additional sessions judge, East Islamabad, the State, IGP Islamabad, and others as respondents.

During the hearing, the counsel for the petitioner submitted that an application has been filed for formation of Judicial Commission to inquire into the allegations of torture of the petitioner while he was in police custody.

The bench asked the IGP Islamabad whether the petitioner was subjected to torture while he was in custody. The IGP responded in negative. The advocate general Islamabad submitted that petitioner was arrested on 09.08.2022 and was presented before the magistrate on 10.08.2022 and physical remand for two days was granted, at which juncture, medical examination was conducted and he was found to be in a good health with no signs of torture.

He also contended that on 12.08.2022, when physical remand of the petitioner in police custody was refused,   his medical examination was conducted before handing him over to Adayala Jail authorities as per   Register of Under Trial Prisoners, which was found to be in order.  Medical boards were constituted on the orders of additional district magistrate, Islamabad on 13.08.2022 & 15.08.2022, but the petitioner refused to get himself examined by the said boards.

Bench terms explanations of Adyala Jail’s officials as unsatisfactory

The court observed, “Since this is a serious matter and reflects upon Islamabad Capital Territory Police Force, hence it is only appropriate that Inspector General of Police, ICT submit a report as to the allegations of torture on the petitioner when he was in police custody or otherwise in jail.”

The counsel for the petitioner contended that lawyers are not being granted access to the petitioner; when confronted, as to under which law this can be done, the counsel for the petitioner was unable to cite any law.

The court said that the petitioner’s counsel and friends can see him and in this behalf, police shall do the needful after satisfying that said facility is not misused in any way.

The medical officer of the Central Jail Adyala informed the learned court on the question of medical condition of Shehbaz Gill that petitioner suffered from asthma since childhood.

The bench said that the explanation tendered by the officials of Central Jail Adyala, Rawalpindi is not satisfactory hence they are directed to submit written explanation in this behalf along with relevant record before next date of hearing. The counsel for the petitioner submitted that impugned order be suspended till next date of hearing. However, the court said that the matter of remand on merits shall be examined on the next date of hearing and deferred the hearing till August 22.