Pakistan News

Another judge recuses himself from hearing Dr Asim’s plea

Another judge recuses himself from hearing Dr Asim’s plea

KARACHI: The bail application of former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain in a corruption reference could not be taken up for hearing by the Sindh High Court on Monday as one of the bench members recused himself from hearing the plea.

The matter was fixed before a division bench comprising Justices Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Adnan Karim Memon for hearing. However, Justice Memon recused himself from the bench.

Subsequently, the matter was referred to the SHC chief justice for the constitution of a new bench for hearing of the bail application.

Meanwhile, Dr Asim’s lawyer, Sardar Latif Khosa, said that he had requested the chief justice to constitute a special bench to hear and decide the bail plea.

Dr Asim, along with some other suspects, has been blamed for misusing his authority for encroaching upon state land for expansion of Dr Ziauddin Hospital/Trust, money laundering, getting kickbacks through a fertiliser cartel for illegal curtailment of gas and fraud with public in the name of a charity hospital.

In October, Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto had recused himself from hearing another bail application of Dr Asim in a case pertaining to the treatment of alleged terrorists.

On Sept 21, SHC senior puisne judge Justice Ahmed Ali M. Sheikh had declined to hear the bail pleas of Dr Asim and others and the matter was referred to the SHC chief justice. When the CJ assigned the matter to another bench one of the members had also declined to hear the bail application.

Protective bail

Another SHC bench granted on Monday protective bail to the head of Omni Group’s business operations department in a case pertaining to the recovery of explosives and illicit weapons.

Applicant Salman Khawaja Younis, through his lawyer Farooq H. Naek, submitted that he was falsely framed in the case. He feared that he would be arrested and humiliated.

The counsel sought protective bail for his client so that he could approach the trial court.

A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah granted the protective bail against a surety bond of Rs500,000 and directed the applicant to surrender before the trial court within four days.

The Sindh Rangers had carried out back-to-back raids on two offices of Omni Group on Dec 23 and claimed that 17 AK-47 assault rifles, 329 ammunitions of different types, nine ball bombs and four pistols were seized from the offices.

Later, a case was registered on the complaint of a Rangers official against the head of the group and some other senior officials under Sections 23(1)(a) of the Sindh Arms Act, 2013 and Section 4/5 of the Explosives Substances Act, 1908 read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Saddar police station.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2016

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