Gilgit-Baltistan: Judicial Activism or Executive Muscle in GB?

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GILGIT (ET): The GB administration on Thursday filed a petition in the GB Supreme Appellate Court seeking suspension of non-bailable arrest warrants issued by the Chief Court against three serving secretaries.
The petition was moved in the region’s apex court through Attorney General Asadullah Khan, who pleaded the arrest warrants be set aside. Chief Court Justice Muhammad Alam and Justice Wazir Shakeel had summoned the secretaries of home, law and finance in the case of appointment of 36 prosecutors in the government. However, the secretaries avoided appearing before the bench over the weeks, provoking judges to issue contempt of court orders against them.
In an earlier hearing, the court had ordered Gilgit Deputy Commissioner Sibtain Ahmed and SP Ali Zia to produce the secretaries in handcuffs on Wednesday. The government officials graced the court but without restraints, following which the bench sent them out of the court and directed the DC and SP to bring them back in handcuffs.
The DC and SP went out of the courtroom but did not return till the end of the day’s proceedings and neither did the secretaries. The Chief Court then issued non-bailable arrest warrants against the three secretaries for a continuous no-show. The court subsequently issued a show-cause notice to the DC and SP for defying court orders and asked them (DC and SP) to ensure the presence of the secretaries on May 28, in handcuffs.
Meanwhile, lawyers clashed with an assistant commissioner (AC) over not letting them enter the courtroom to observe the case.
Advocate Raja Zia, president of the district bar association, said they were going to attend the hearing when AC Hamza Salik attempted to stop them, which led to a heated argument between both sides. When lawyers insisted on going inside the court, the AC ordered his subordinates to load their guns.
“Who is Salik to stop us from entering the court? It belongs to us, not the AC,” said Zia. The lawyers, however, submitted a complaint at Jutial police station, against the AC who has also filed an application against the lawyers at the same police station.

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