ATC rejects to release Dr Asim, remanded him back to police

KARACHI: The administrative judge of Anti-Terrorism Court on Monday rejected the police’s request to release Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and former petroleum minister, Dr Asim Hussain under section 497 (2) CrPC, in terrorists’ treatment case.

Investigation Officer of the case DSP Altaf Husain submitted a report under section 497 (2) of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), stating that there no evidences have been found against Dr Asim. He requested the court to release the suspect on account of non-availability of evidence.

Special prosecutor of the case Nisar Ahmed Durrani, who was appointed just a day ago, has the same opinion as the IO. He stated that report was rightly filed by police and this case is not triable in ATC.

Rangers Counsel, Habib Ahmed argued that the accused has been nominated in the FIR and he is involved in providing medical treatment to terrorists and this case is surely triable in ATC. The Rangers counsel also referred the finding of Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) report according to which Dr Asim is involved in offences came within the ambit of Anti-Terrorism Act.

Former petroleum minister came for his defence and stated that JIT is based upon no material. He further submitted that he was never involved in treating terrorists and the hospital’s record has been tempered by the law enforcers.

The defence’s counsel in his argument stated that no incriminating evidences has been collected against his client and confessional statement of Ziauddin hospital’s deputy managing director, Dr Yousuf Sattar was obtained by pressurizing him. It is pertinent to mention here that Dr Yousuf Sattar had confessed before judicial magistrate that militants were provided medical assistance and refuge in the private hospital on the order of its owner, Dr Asim.

After hearing prolong and heated arguments, Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto reserved his verdict as to Dr Asim could be release or not. After the break of one hour, the judge came back and observed, ”In the prima facie, there is sufficient evidences against Dr Asim and other accused to connect in this case”.

While dismissing IO’s report the ATC administrative judge transferred the case to ATC-II for further proceeding, where he will be produced today (Tuesday).

Dr Asim was produced in the court in National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) custody; however, after the court’s order, he was taken into police’s custody in the terrorist treatment case.