Case to register against Rana Sanaullah

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LAHORE: Additional District and Sessions Judge Mudassar Umar on Wednesday issued orders to register a criminal case against Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and top Punjab Police officials on the charges of alleged torture of lawyers in the provincial capital during the PTI Azadi March on May 25.

Saying it was not a lawful use of force but vandalism, the judge ordered registering a criminal case against the interior minister, CCPO Lahore, DIG Operations Lahore, SP Esa Sukheri (North Cantt Lahore), SP Waqar Azeem Kharal, DSP Akber Ali, SHO Asad Abbas and others. The court issued this order on a petition moved by advocate Haider Majeed. Barrister Hassan Niazi and other lawyers represented the complainant. The lawyers played a video of the incident in the courtroom.

The court directed the SHO concerned to register a case against the accused,saying that the contents of the petition attracted offences under Section 155-C of the Police Order 2002 and Section 166(1), 352 and 427 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The court order read that Chapter V, especially Section 46 to 50, and Chapter 11, especially Section 127 and 128, of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) empowered the police to use force to prevent disturbance or disperse people to maintain peace, but the exercise of this power was not unbridled. It was subject to Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution as well as the international law like Article 6 and 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights.

The court order stated that the petitioner and his colleagues were boarding their vehicles when they were pulled by police. It stated that the petitioners were baton-charged, humiliated, disgraced and their vehicles were damaged badly with violent blows of sticks even though they were cooperating with the law enforcers.

The court, while quoting an order of the Lahore High Court, stated that the use of force was to be exercised as a preventive measure and not for launching an attack. While exercising the use of force, the principle of necessity was to be respected and it was to be seen that whether force should be used and if so, to what extent. Thus, the object and necessity to use force helped understand whether or not it was within legal parameters.

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