ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday declined a Punjab government offer for provision of enhanced security to judges.
The offer was made a day after shots were fired at the Lahore residence of Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, a judge of the Supreme Court.
“Judges don’t need additional or extra security other than routine. However, the overall security situation should be improved to benefit the common people,” a statement issued by the apex court quoted the chief justice as saying.
According to the Supreme Court, Justice Ahsan’s residence was targeted twice — first at 4:30am and then at 9am on Sunday. No casualties were reported.
According to police officials, the judge’s private security guard, Din Mohammad, found a 9mm bullet casing inside the residence at 6am on Sunday after which the police were called in.
Police officials said that the casing had been sent for a forensic analysis, adding that they were reviewing CCTV cameras’ footage. Later, another bullet was found at the garage of the house.
Following the incident, CJP Nisar visited the residence of Justice Ahsan and called Punjab Inspector General of Police Arif Nawaz Khan to probe the two incidents. The chief justice is said to be overseeing the situation himself.
A first information report about the incident was lodged with the Model Town police station against unidentified persons under the Anti-Terrorism Act and Sections 324 (attempted murder), 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) and 506-B (criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
A committee was formed under the chairmanship of DIG-Investigation Chaudhry Sultan Ahmad, comprising SSP-Investigation Ghulam Mubashar Maiken, Crime Investigation Agency SP Nadeem Abbas, and Model Town SP (Investigation) Shakir Ahmad Shahid.
According to the preliminary observations of the crime scene unit, the first shot that hit the main gate could be a stray bullet which was fired from a distance and was on the final stage of its parabolic trajectory.
Justice Ahsan was part of the five-member bench that heard the high-profile Panama Papers case which led to the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
He was also part of the three-member bench hearing the 17 petitions against the controversial Elections Act 2017. The bench ruled that an individual disqualified under Article 62 and 63 cannot hold the chairmanship of a political party, leading to Nawaz Sharif losing the presidency of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
Justice Ahsan is also the monitoring judge of the ongoing corruption cases in the accountability court, filed by the National Accountability Bureau, against Nawaz Sharif, his family and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.
Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2018