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LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan on Tuesday directed the federal interior secretary and director general of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to appear before the court on April 17 and explain for delay in action against government officials involved in a strike against the judiciary.

Earlier, the chief justice expressed his dismay over the absence of DG FIA who was called to appear in person and observed, "It seems the government's institutions do not honor the courts". He also asked the director FIA who appeared before the court as to why no action had been taken against the officials involved in the strike as the court on previous hearing had directed the FIA to identify and take action against officials involved in anti-judiciary strike and propaganda on YouTube.

The director told the court that 49 government officials had been identified who participated in the strike and protest demonstration.

A law officer informed the court that a fresh call data record of the mobile number owned by PMS Officer Azeem Shaukat Awan had been obtained who allegedly chanted anti-judiciary slogans at the protest. He claimed that the officer had earlier provided the FIA wrong mobile number.

Chief Justice Khan regretted the inefficiency of the FIA to take action against the officials found involved in the protest against the judiciary. He also questioned the conduct of the provincial government for not taking the assistant commissioner, who allegedly provoked the protest, to task.

Sahiwal's former civil judge Muhammad Naeem had summoned the then AC Muhammad Haider in a case against encroachments in the city. The officer failed to appear before the court despite several notices and the civil judge finally issued warrants for his arrest. The AC, reportedly, got into a heated argument with the judge when he made his appearance in the court. The judge ordered his staff to detain the AC and handcuff him before shifting him to jail.

However, some lawyers intervened in the matter and the AC tendered an apology before the court after which he was released. Later administrative and revenue staff in different parts of the province went on strike and held protest against the judiciary.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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