ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar hinted at transferring former Sindh minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Sharjeel Memon to a prison in Punjab in case of non-cooperation by the Sindh government, saying liquor samples recovered from the former minister’s hospital room had been “tampered” with.
The CJP’s remarks came days after two liquor bottles had been found from Memon’s sub-jail room during a surprise raid conducted by the top judge on Saturday and subsequent transfer of Memon to jail.
During a hearing of a case concerning shortage of hospitals in Islamabad, CJP Nisar said the samples were changed; however, he did not how these samples were swapped neither did he know about the entire process of their testing. However, he also reportedly remarked that he was fully aware under whose supervision samples were changed.
“I would have arrested the man on the spot if I wanted,” said the top judge without naming Memon. “I would have had a medical test conducted and had him arrested on the spot.”
Commenting on Memon’s likely transfer to a prison in Punjab, the CJP said judges should not worry as constitution grants them “immense power” to enforce judgements.
Memon’s incident also came up during a separate case pertaining to the Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) when CJP commented on the liquor bottles, saying apparently the bottles contained “honey and oil” after my visit to the hospital. However, it does not bother me if someone else drinks, he added.
During the hearing, the Sindh chief secretary noted that a report on the contents of the bottles seemed ‘suspicious’.
“It seems that the report has been tampered with,” the Sindh chief secretary said, adding that CCTV footage is available of the hospital and Memon’s room which had been declared sub-jail. “We will submit a report after looking into the matter,” he said.
At the mention of former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain during the hearing, the CJP queried, “The hospital–Ziauddin Hospital– is owned by him, right?”
“I found out that an important prisoner is housed in the presidential suite there,” he said, adding: “We are aware of the conversations this prisoner would have at night. Who should be arrested and who should be released was being discussed in the sub-jail.”
Meanwhile, the investigation officer of the case rejected Memon’s blood sample and chemical examination reports and requested to reconduct the test for fluid present in the bottles.
He said that the suspicious behaviour of jail officers was captured on CCTV camera and the proofs were allegedly destroyed by them. “It has been seen clearly that a suspicious parcel was transferred in the room and private employees were involved in the transfer of that parcel.”
On Monday, a medical report revealed that there were no traces of alcohol in Memon’s blood, while a chemical examination of the two liquor bottles recovered from the imprisoned politician’s hospital room had also been declared free of alcohol.
According to reports, Memon’s blood samples were taken at noon on September 1 and were sent to two different hospitals. “There is no trace of plasma alcohol and ethanol in his blood,” the report revealed. The Sindh government will now send this report to Supreme Court.
A separate report by Chief Chemical Examiner Dr Zahid Ansari states that the bottles recovered from Memon’s room at Ziauddin Hospital did not contain alcohol. According to the report, one of the bottles contained honey and the other cooking oil.