Justice delayed: Dr Asim’s bail plea adjourned, unheard again

By Nasir Mahmood

KARACHI: The hearing in bail pleas of political leaders, Dr Asim Hussain, Rauf Siddiqui, Anees Qaimkhani and Qadir Patel was again adjourned yesterday when the division bench comprising Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Sadiq Hussain Bhatti put off the case for 17th October without hearing. It is to mention that this is the sixth bench formed as earlier five benches had refused to hear the case. Lastly on September 21 this year, SHC puisne judge Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh had declined to hear the bail pleas. After his refusal, the matter was referred to SHC Chief Justice, who assigned it to the bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar fixing the hearing for Sept 29. But on that day, the other member of the bench Justice Arshad Hussain declined to sit on the bench. The matter was again referred to Chief Justice Sindh for further direction or constitution of a new bench, who had fixed October 10 as the next date of hearing. It is to note that the Anti-Terrorism Court-II had rejected the bail application of former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain in June this year. On June 20, Dr Asim Hussain’s lawyer Anwar Mansoor Khan while talking to media had said that just to avoid the bail of his client, the ATC ignored certain hard facts, which we will raise in appeal against this order. While referring to the order passed by the ATC, Anwar Mansoor said there were many accused present in the court with whom the doctor was alleged to cooperate for treatment but none of them were mentioned in this order that is amazing. He reminded that usually he does not comment on the role of institutions and the courts but if their acts are against the law, he has the right to comment or criticize the orders passed by them. In this case the Rangers claimed that Dr Asim cured certain accused in his hospital and charged concessional rates. They alleged in the FIR that certain things were concealed from the police. Anwar Mansoor Khan said that under the law no doctor or hospital could refuse to any patient, otherwise there is two-year jail sentence. If we accept the allegations leveled in the FIR that Dr Asim provided treatment to some accused, even then it was not an offense under the law. He fulfilled his lawful obligations by providing relief to a needy person.