Dr Asim, a lone prisoner awaits justice for 312 days

DOES THE LAW OF CONSISTENCY EXIST IN THE COUNTRY?

By Nasir Mahmood

Sindh High Court (SHC) on July 01, Friday, granted bail to former Managing Directors, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) Shoaib Warsi and Zuhair Siddiqui. The SHC bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, accepted the bail pleas after hearing the arguments from NAB and petitioner’s counsel. It directed the applicants to submit surety bonds of Rs 2.5 million each. Amazingly former Petroleum Minister Asim Husain still awaits hearing of his bail application since 312 days. It is pertinent to mention here that the only person in this case is Dr Asim Husain whose plea is not being heard by the court and he is again denied celebrating Eid with his family, while irony of the matter is that Dr Asim’s wife is a cancer patient and is under treatment in London and his 90 yeat old mother is also disturbed. Shoaib Warsi had submitted that he was picked up by the Rangers on 26th August 2015 and he remained in their custody for the period of three months. After the expiry of his 90-day preventive detention, he was handed over to NAB. The same story is of Dr Asim but he was still deprived of even hearing of his bail application, while according to his counsel Anwar Mansoor Khan any bail application is bound to be heard within one week time of its submission. Warsi and Siddiqui had approached the SHC, stating that they were not involved in any criminal activity and all the allegations leveled against them were baseless. This case was cleared by two judges bench of Islamabad High Court and the NAB Court in Islamabad ( The facts were hidden). The factual position is that in the JJVL case hearing during the holy month of Ramadan the NAB had failed to produce full record of the statements of eight Prosecution Witnesses (PWs). These witnesses were not produced in the court and according to defence lawyers the prosecution had hidden certain evidences and material. It is learnt that Dr Asim may be filing a case in the Accountability Bureau for production of the documents concealed by NAB. According to reports in JJVL case the judges have recommended to re-investigate the case where Dr Asim was not initially nominated in the case. However, later he was nominated and the reason was stated by Dr Asim while chatting with media outside the court. Dr Asim disclosed that he was maltreated by an official named Fateh Gambhir who was pressurizing him to give statement against Asif Ali Zardari. On his refusal he was victimized and nominated in this case.He also had an ethnic bais. Similarly, two other accused Shoaib Warsi and Zuhair Siddiqui were also pressurized to give statement against Dr Asim. Earlier, the NAB court IV adjourned the hearing of JJVL case for July 04. The counsel for Dr Asim and others pointed out before the court that prosecution is duty-bound to supply copies of all statements of witnesses recorded in the case. Farooq H. Naek had said ‘justice hurried is justice buried’. He also raised an objection and said that before framing a charge, it is a duty of the prosecution to provide full record of the witnesses. The court issued notice to NAB for production of said record before next date of hearing. It is pertinent tp mention that it is the same story in ATC where all on bail except Dr Asim.