SC interim order in Joseph Colony case holds IGP responsible

SC interim order in Joseph Colony case holds IGP responsible

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Wednesday issued its interim order in the Joseph Colony suo moto case, saying the Punjab inspector general of police failed to provide security to 220 homes of Christians in Badami Bagh area of Lahore.

In its short order, the chief justice said how would culprits be apprehended if such a situation was prevailing.The Supreme Court held the Punjab inspector general of police and the Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) responsible for the Joseph Colony arson.The court said the suspension of the SHO and DPO was not enough and no further negligence would be tolerated in the case.The three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry questioned what steps had been taken to stop such attacks in the future and why residents were displaced and not provided security.

Informing the court about the investigation of the incident, the SSP investigation said during initial interrogation, the Christian suspect accused of blasphemy admitted to being intoxicated and did not remember what he had said. The SSP sought time to ascertain the facts.Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that instead of asking witnesses, police were asking suspects.

The CJP said the incident had taken place after Friday prayers and was the reason for people’s provocation being investigated.The Punjab advocate general presented the report on Gojra incident and said the judicial commission report had recommended an amendment in the police order.“This recommendation was sent to concerned officials but there were differences between the Home Department and police over the amendment,” he said.He said the government accepted responsibility for the mob attack and was taking steps to prevent such incidents in the future.

Justice Chaudhry asked if the government was so helpless that it could not implement the judicial commission’s report over some differences.The chief justice also asked why no concrete steps had been taken for the implementation of the report.The Punjab AG further informed the court that the trial of those accused in the Gojra incident had begun, but a compromise had been reached.The bench remarked that there was no room for compromise in cases of terrorism.Later, the hearing of the case was adjourned until March 18. – PT