ATC granted bail to 17 lawyers arrested in PIC attack

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ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday granted bail to 17 lawyers arrested in Pakistan Institute of Cardiology (PIC) clash case. The court announced the decision after hearing the arguments of all the parties.

Earlier, seven lawyers – who were arrested in the case pertaining to the riot at the PIC – have been declared cleared after they were examined by the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA).

A forensic report was prepared by the PFSA which examined the seven lawyers who were detained by the Punjab Police. The report clearly stated that the accused lawyers have nothing to do with the PIC incident.

It was stated that the police should apprehend those who were actually involved in the matter. All of them were found innocent stating that they did not take any part in the hospital clash nor did they enter the premises of the PIC.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday withdrew a show cause notice of contempt to the General Secretary Islamabad High Court Bar after he appeared in the court hearing.

Chief Justice IHC Justice Athar Minallah heard the contempt case against the Secretary Islamabad High Court Bar Umair Baloch.

The tensions between the bar and the bench over the PIC incident in Lahore, resolved with appearance of the secretary and other high court bar officials before the court.

“We don’t believe in awarding sentences in contempt proceedings,” Justice Athar Minallah said.

“It was a painful decision to issue the show cause notice,” the Justice said. “You arrived yesterday, it is sufficient if a person realizes matter,” the top judge said in an interchange with the officials of the Bar.

“We have appeared in the court for your respect,” the bar officials told the judge.

“We believe the bar will protect independence of the judiciary,” the justice further remarked. “The third force will not be allowed to take benefit of the situation,” Justice Athar Minallah said.

The chief justice of the high court had issued a show cause notice for contempt and suspended the licence of the bar’s secretary Umair Baloch for the high court, in a previous hearing.

The court had also issued notices to vice chairman Pakistan Bar Council, President Supreme Court Bar Association and Advocate General Islamabad.

The high court in its notice had summoned Umair Baloch and others in a personal capacity on December 19.

The court in its notice asked Umair Baloch to explain why the contempt of the court proceedings should not be initiated against him over interference in the court proceedings.

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