Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Banking Court Judge on Moonis Elahi’s acquittal request unexpectedly sends case to LHC

Unprecedented partiality shown by the learned judge
We have full faith in LHC Chief Justice: Moonis Elahi’s Lawyers
Lahore (05-07-2011) During the hearing of the acquittal petition of Moonis Elahi the senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League in the NICL case today the Banking Court Judge Abdul Rasheed unexpectedly refused to further hear the case and sent it to Chief Justice Lahore High Court. Moonis Elahi’s lawyers expressing their strong dissatisfaction on this decision said that the law had not been followed and the learned judge before taking the decision neither heard their arguments nor considered the superior courts’ earlier judgments that had been put before him.
Photo Moonis Elahi 01 {July05-11}
At the outset of the hearing which instead of morning began at 2pm Moonis Elahi’s lawyers requested the learned judge to take into account the fact that all the eight prosecution witnesses and the FIA’s Investigating Officer had testified to Moonis Elahi’s innocence. Later talking to the media Moonis Elahi’s lawyers Rai Bashir Ahmad and Amjad Parvez said that the attitude of the learned judge from the beginning of the proceedings was inflexible and a test of their nerves. They said that today the learned court was to hear Moonis Elahi’s acquittal petition filed under CRPC 249/A and as a guide line they had also presented the Supreme Court and High Court decisions in this regard as references but the learned judge started putting new questions to Mohammad Maalik instead. On being pointed out that questioning Mohammad Maalik was outside the scope of the acquittal petition the learned judge angrily closed the file and declared that he didn’t want to hear the case and was sending it to Chief Justice, Lahore High Court, said Moonis Elahi’s lawyers. They said that the lawyers had sacrificed their lives and well being for the supremacy of the judiciary but the learned judge’s demeanour today nullified these sacrifices. Moonis Elahi’s lawyers said that the partial behaviour demonstrated by the learned judge today was unprecedented. They said that the learned court could see that the case had clearly gone in Moonis Elahi’s favour and that the FIA had failed to prove his involvement. In this situation there was no other recourse available to the court but to acquit Moonis Elahi, opined the lawyers. It will be a matter of honour if the Lahore High Court Chief Justice hears the case as we have full confidence in him, the lawyers added.
Throughout today’s proceedings a very large number of PML workers and Moonis Elahi supporters remained outside the court and continued to chant slogans in their leader’s favour.