Islamabad High Court reserves verdict in PTI plea for a medical board of private doctors to examine Shahbaz Gill.

ISLAMABAD    -   The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday reserved its verdict in a petition seeking formation of a medical board consisting of impartial doctors for medical examination of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted hearing of a petition filed by PTI leaders Asad Umer and Babar Awan and reserved the judgment after hearing the arguments.

The PTI leaders moved the petition against Gill’s alleged torture and requested the court for formation of a medical board consisting of impartial doctors for medical examination. They mentioned media reports of Gill’s physical abuse in police custody and prayed to the court that police be prevented from taking a confession through pressurizing him.

They also claimed that the sole purpose of keeping Gill in police custody was to torture him. They added that his physical and mental condition was not good and it is a threat to his life.

During the hearing, Justice Miangul Hassan asked that when a medical report exists, then is not there a medical board in place? At this Awan stated that they are requesting an impartial medical board and asserted that the doctors who are present in the medical board are not experts in some diseases. He further said that a private medical board should be formed with doctors from all the four provinces.

The bench asked that would it not be better to leave this matter to the home secretary? Babar Awan in response maintained that they are requesting for a board consisting of unbiased private doctors and not of government doctors. He also requested the court to ensure protection of Shahbaz Gill’s life and fundamental rights.

The PTI counsel informed the bench that when Shahbaz Gill was presented before the magistrate after his arrest, there were signs of torture. Shahbaz Gill showed the signs of police torture to the judicial magistrate and the magistrate granted judicial remand after two days of physical remand.

Justice Miangul Hassan said that there was no provision of torture against any accused in law even in sedition case. He remarked that he would pass an order in this regard. Then, he reserved the verdict after hearing the arguments.

He added that later an appeal was filed by the federal government to review the magistrate’s decision which was rejected. The federal government then approached the IHC which referred the matter to the trial court whereby police were granted another two days’ physical remand of Gill.

Then, Justice Miangul asked that how the current medical board was formed. The PTI counsel answered that it was constituted under the direction of a female judge of the lower court who had granted Gill’s remand. He maintained that even if it is a case of high treason, torture or beating on specific parts is not allowed.

Awan also said that a university professor is being tortured into confessing on whose request he committed the crime.