Thursday, August 18, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday allowed PTI leader Shahbaz Gill's lawyers to meet him at the facility where he is undergoing medical treatment.
IHC Acting Chief Justice Amir Farooq presided over the case and allowed Gill's lawyers to meet him after they were prohibited from meeting their client earlier in the morning.
Yesterday, a district and sessions court ordered Gill — who has been behind bars since August 9 — into police custody for a further 48 hours. However, PTI challenged the case in IHC.
Following the order of the remand's extension, the PTI leader's condition started to deteriorate and after hours-long drama, he was shifted to the Pakistan Institute Of Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital from Adiala Jail.
A four-member medical board also unanimously noted that Gill needs to be monitored further and assessed by cardiologists and pulmonologists.
In its report, the medical board also said that Gill "is a known case of asthma since childhood and has been on inhaled bronchodilators when required, now presented with shortness of breath, body aches, including left shoulder, back, neck, fight gluteal region and left-sided chest pain".
During the proceedings, Inspector-General Islamabad Police Akbar Nasir Khan rejected the allegations that the PTI leader was tortured in police custody.
"What happened when Shahbaz Gill's medical examination was conducted at PIMS hospital?" Justice Farooq asked. At this, IGP Khan said that the medical reports showed that the PTI leader had difficulty breathing.
Advocate General Islamabad Barrister Jahangir Jadoon, who was present at the IHC hearing to assist the court, also noted that Gill had initially refused to undergo a medical examination.
"There is hue and cry that [Gill] was tortured. So is this all a hype created by the media, or is there any truth to it? We have to find this out," Justice Farooq said.
Justice Farooq asked whether Gill informed the magistrate at the district and sessions court that he was tortured.
In response, Special Prosecutor Raja Rizwan Abbasi told the judge that the PTI leader did no such thing.
"So where is the petitioner now?" Justice Farooq asked.
At this, Gill's counsel Faisal Chaudhry told the judge that Gill was currently at PIMS where he is unconscious.
Chaudhry chided the special prosecutor and told him that he should not be issuing statements on behalf of the jail administration.
"I was not allowed to meet him today morning at the PIMS hospital."
The judge, in response, told Chaudhry that his client's remand case was being heard only because he was a political personality, otherwise, there are several similar cases which aren't taken up at the high court.
The judge then asked IG Islamabad what steps will he take next amid the allegations that the PTI leader was tortured.
"We do not trust them," Gill's lawyers said about the police officer. At this, Justice Farooq asked them to refrain from saying things at once as it was not a "circus".
The judge then issued a show-cause notice to Adiala Jail administration taking him into custody later than the ordered time. He also asked IG Islamabad to submit a detailed report regarding the controversy that took place at Adiala Jail over Gill's custody.
Moving on, Chaudhry demanded the judge allow Gill's lawyers to meet him, which the judge accepted. Justice Farooq told him that the order would be issued shortly.
The PTI lawyers demanded to suspend the order of the remand, but the IHC judge extended it to Monday and adjourned the hearing to the same date.