ISLAMABAD: Sohail Nasir, who has succeeded Lahore’s District & Session’s Judge Zawaar Hussain Sheikh to end a serious row, made an unruly lawyer apologise publicly after he had slapped a civil judge in his courtroom in Faisalabad.
At the time, Sohail Nasir was the district & sessions judge of Faisalabad and acted decisively in that hour of difficulty. As advocate Liaquat Javed slapped judge Tariq Mehmood, all Faisalabad judges held a meeting under the chairmanship of Sohail Nasir and decided to go on strike in protest and to tender resignations in March this year.
However, the dispute was settled after the advocate tendered a public apology to the judge. The Lahore High Court initiated contempt proceedings against the lawyer but later dropped them, accepting his repentance and formal apology with the commitment to respect the judge.
The advocate also requested the judicial officers at Faisalabad that he might be pardoned for his foolish act and undertook not to repeat the same in future. Sources said that as judge Sohail Nasir faced official pressures more than once but handed down decisions ignoring them.
They said that when, during his posting as additional district & sessions judge in Chakwal, the government wanted disqualification of Lt-Gen (retd) Abdul Majeed Malik from the contest for the district government elections on the charge of possessing a fake matriculation certificate, he refused to budge, and cleared him.
Later, his decision was reversed by the then Lahore High Court, presided over by Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar Hussain. However, Sohail Nasir’s verdict was upheld by a Supreme Court bench, led by Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, presently the chief justice.
Narrating another incident, sources said that during his posting in Attock, Sohail Nasir barred the District Nazim Tahir Sadiq to undertake any development work in the constituency where his daughter, Eman, was contesting a by-election.
Eman was a niece of Chaudhry Shujaat. At the time, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was the chief minister of the Punjab. Sources said that when he was working in Gojra, immense official pressure came on Judge Sohail Nasir to sentence an accused, charged with attacking PPP MNA Ilyas Jutt mid-air in a flight on Aug 31, 1995; however, he acquitted the accused finding no evidence against him to convict. Finally, sources said, Sohail Nasir sought his transfer from the now defunct Islamabad High Court as its registrar, when it was mired in an intense controversy. He has now been given acting charge of the district judge in Lahore at a time after a serious bar-bench row.