LAHORE - A division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Wednesday dismissed the appeal of a convict who had attacked the participants of a candlelight vigil on the death anniversary of slain Punjab governor Salman Taseer at Liberty Chowk.

The bench upheld the conviction of Mumtaz Sindhi who had challenged the verdict of an anti-terrorism court against in the appeal. The bench upheld the conviction of Mumtaz Sindhi who had challenged the verdict of an anti-terrorism court against in the appeal.

The appellant’s counsel submitted that no concrete evidence was available against his client and the trial court awarded sentence him on the basis of insufficient proofs.

He submitted that the conviction be set aside and the appellant be acquitted.

On the other side, the complainant’s counsel submitted that the trial court had sentenced the appellant in the light of credible evidence.

He argued that the convict had been identified with the help of footages of the incident and that he was responsible for the attack. He submitted that the LHC as well as the Supreme Court had already dismissed the appeals of his co-accused including Adeel, Furqanul Haq, Iftikhar, Wazir Ali and Kashif Munir.

The bench upheld the sentence by dismissing the appeal of the convict.

On January 4, 2015, a candlelight vigil was held by the civil society to mark the death anniversary of the slain Punjab governor while Mumtaz Sindhi had led the attack. Over a dozen men holding batons had attacked the participants of the vigil, tore the banners and posters displayed there and also thrashed the activists.

In 2017, the anti-terrorism court awarded a total 16-and-a-half years jail term to the convict. The court awarded five years jail term to Sindhi under Section 7 of Anti-terrorist Act, three-and-a-half years under Section 365 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), two years under Section 149 of PPC, three years under 153-A of PPC and three years under Section 148 of the PPC.

Replies sought in mobile phone ban case

On the request of additional advocate general Punjab for one-month deferral of the mobile phone ban case, the Lahore High Court expressed anger, and remarked that people should be left on the mercy of the police for a whole month.

LHC Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh directed the Punjab government and the Inspector General (IG) of Police Punjab to submit replies in the writ petition filed against mobile phone ban in the police stations and adjourned the hearing until October 15.

Meanwhile, the additional advocate general Punjab sought one-month adjournment in the case. However, the court expressed anger, saying that people should be left on the mercy of the police for a whole month. The court asked whether the police want their brutality not to be exposed.

On the other side, the petitioner submitted that the police authorities have stopped people from carrying the phones inside the police stations. He requested the court to turn down the decision of IG Punjab regarding ban on mobile phones in the police stations.

The court sought a reply from the Punjab government and the IG. The LHC was moved against the ban on the use of mobile phones in police stations not only by the common public but also by the policemen during duty.

The writ petition filed by Adeel Yaqoob says, “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, he further says.

The petitioner submits that the order may kindly be declared null and void.

As per police notification, 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 allegedly sent by the additional IG on behalf of the IGP to the police officers across the Punjab province, says, “Frequent violations of these directions/SOPs reflect badly on the performance of supervising officers.”