Lahore - The Lahore High Court has been moved against the ban on the use of mobile phones in police stations not only by the common citizens but also by the police personnel while on duty.

A writ petition was filed by Adeel Yaqoob in the Lahore High Court, saying: “In a week, three people had allegedly been killed in police custody. Instead of stopping torture in custody, the police banned the use of mobile phones.”

The petition also says that the videos which exposed the police torture had been uploaded on the social media by some policemen. The decision of Punjab IGP to ban the use of mobile phones at police stations was against the facts and the law, the petition further says. The petitioner submits that the order may kindly be declared null and void.

The police big guns recently imposed the ban on carrying mobile phones inside the police station. It is appeared that the ban has been imposed on the direction from senior police officers.

Mobile videos showed 3 custodial deaths last week

Following the orders, those visiting the police stations have to submit their mobiles at front desk before entering the station.

On the other side, some police high ups have denied any such orders issued after the reporting of police misbehavoiur and torture incidents especially on the social media.

Not to speak of the general public visiting the police station fall under order across the province, even policemen have been directed not to use cellphones while on duty and also stopped them from capturing videos of other police officials on duty.

A notification allegedly sent by the additional inspector general on behalf of the Punjab IGP to the Punjab police officers across the province, says that clear directions regarding the use of mobile phones on duty have already been issued to all the field formations while the ban is not being implemented.

The order says, “Frequent violations of these directions/SOPs reflect badly on the performance of supervising officers.” Through the communiqué, the field formations have been given responsibility to get the instructions implemented in letter and spirit.

It further says, “In future, no officer below the rank of SHO (Station House Officer) or in-charge of a deployed duty will use cellphone while on duty.”

Various cases have come to surface showing alleged police torture which caused death of detainees. On September 1, man seemed to be mentally disabled namely Salahuddin Ayubi had died in police custody in Rahim Yar Khan. Another was allegedly tortured by Gujjarpura police in an illegal torture cell. Likewise, a gardener namely Amir died due to alleged police torture in illegally police detention.

The court then adjourned the proceeding of the case until September 28. An ANF official told the court that senior prosecutor Salahuddin appointed to represent the force in the court has fallen ill though he had got prepared for the purpose. Therefore, the chief prosecutor could not appear, said Prosecutor Rana Kashif