The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday grilled Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani over the deteriorating law and order in the province as well as the involvement of policemen in occupying citizen’s properties.
LHC Chief Justice Qasim Khan was presiding over the hearing in a case against Elite Police over the alleged occupation of abandoned Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) land.
During the hearing, the judge also reprimanded IGP Ghani over announcing a prize money of Rs5 million for the force for arresting Abid Malhi, the main accused in the motorway gang rape.
“Is it justified that prizes are being announced for cops over making arrests of culprits, where do you want to take the police department? It means the police will not make an arrest until prizes are announced,” Justice Khan remarked.
“Whose duty was to arrest Abid Malhi, was it not part of your job,” the CJ questioned.
“Why has the police occupied the evacuee trust property?” the judge asked Ghani. “Submit an affidavit before the court on your stance.” At this, he told the court that they had never occupied any land to date.
To this, the petitioner’s counsel, Asif Imran Awan, told the court that it was astonishing to see the police chief lie before the court. He implored that he had a complete record which was enough to establish that the petitioner had obtained the land from evacuee trust property on lease in 2011 and police occupied it in in 2020.
The law officer implored the court that Elite Force’s school had been constructed on land which they later came to know was an ETPB property.
“You mean you people were unaware before construction and then came to know it was the land of evacuee trust property? The police’s action is tantamount to occupying the land,” the CJ remarked.
Counsel Awan contended that Elite Police had scattered land measuring 72-kanal 7 marlas. The then-DIG Elite Force wrote to the evacuee trust to replace its [trust’s] 72-kanal 7 marla land with their scattered land.
After that the petitioner obtained the scattered land on lease from the trust and the elite force occupied that land too.
Adjourning the hearing till November 3, Justice Qasim directed to club the case with with the case wherein the IGP’s appointment was challenged.
The court also directed the petitioner to approach IGP Ghani for registering a first information report (FIR) against officials who are harassing and posing threats to him.