ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered registration of a First Information Report of the assassination attempt on PTI Chairman Imran Khan within 24 hours, warning that the court will take suo motu notice in case of non-compliance.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial expressed these remarks on Monday while hearing a contempt of court case against former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. Punjab IG police Faisal Shahkar who was in the SC Lahore Registry appeared before the apex court through a video link.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked the Punjab IG police to inform the court how long it would take to register an FIR of the gun attack on the PTI chief.
“If police keep on delaying registration of the FIR, it means that evidence is being wasted. If the case has not been registered within 24 hours, then the court will take suo motu notice,” CJP Bandial remarked.
The chief justice of Pakistan told the Punjab IG that he would be the respondent in the suo motu notice.
The top judge directed the IG to investigate the matter, collect evidence and conduct forensic analysis.
Addressing the IG police, the CJP said: “An attempt was made to assassinate a national leader. You should understand the gravity of the matter. Ninety hours have elapsed, but no case has been registered as yet,” the chief justice expressed his exasperation over the delay.
He remarked how investigation could be conducted without registration of the case. In case of no FIR, the evidence could be changed, he observed.
The CJP went on to remark that there should be a solid reason for not registering the case. He directed the IG to act according to the law as the court was with him.
“You should ask your officers to investigate the case. As long as you are on this post, no one will interfere in your work. If someone tries to interfere in your work, then the court will interfere in his work,” the CJP told the IG asking him to tell the court how long it would take to register the case.
The Punjab IG told the court that he was asked by the provincial government to not register the case.
The top Punjab cop told the court that the chief minister had reservations over the registration of the case.
The CJP remarked that the chief minister’s reservations could not deter police from registering an FIR. He directed the IG police to use his authority and take legal action. “Under criminal justice system, police can register an FIR on its own,” CJP Bandial observed.
The IG told the court that there was another option that the police could register the case on the complaint of the family of the person died during the firing incident.
The chief justice told off the IG saying the court had no concern with the police options except that the police must investigate the case.
During the hearing, Imran Khan’s lawyer Salman Akram Raja told the court that he held a short meeting with the PTI chief. He said Imran needed more time to submit his detailed reply in the contempt case.
On this, the CJP remarked a tragic incident happened on Thursday. He gave one week time to Imran for submission of his reply and adjourned the hearing.