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Lawyer not allowed to meet Sarabjit
K J M Varma in Islamabad | September 25, 2005 21:05 IST
The lawyer of Sarabjit Singh expressed extreme disappointment on Sunday over the Pakistan government's reluctance to permit him to meet his client, whose death sentence was upheld by Pakistan Supreme Court for allegedly carrying out bomb blasts in the country in 1990.
Rana Abdul Hamid, who has been hired by a human rights group from Canada to save the Indian's life, told PTI over phone from Lahore that he was 'extremely disappointed and puzzled' over the government's reluctance to permit him to meet Singh, who is lodged in Kot Lakpat prison.
"They are not allowing me to see my client. It is very embarrassing to note that I can not meet my client facing gallows," he said. Hamid, who was planning to file a writ petition in the Lahore High Court seeking a legal directive to meet Singh, said that, as a last resort, he met the additional home secretary, Prisons of Punjab this week, seeking his intervention.
"Nothing has come of it so far. I keep hearing from officials that they have not received orders from concerned agencies," he said. "The government is depriving the right of my client to meet his lawyer."
Hamid, who plans to file a review petition in the Supreme Court on Monday, said he has sought the transcripts of the interview of a key witness, conducted by some Indian television channels early this month in which the witness said he was forced to give false evidence against Singh. Hamid said he made a request to the Indian High Commission in this regard on Saturday.
Hamid plans to forward the transcript to the Supreme Court along with his review petition. "The transcript would have some legal value if the concerned witness comes to court and repeat what he has told the television channels, otherwise it has no legal value," he said.
Indian High Commission official Deepak Kaul said efforts were underway to obtain the transcripts from the television channels, which aired the interview with the witness. Early this month, the Pakistan government permitted Kaul and his colleague to meet Singh in prison, following an official request.
According to prosecution, Singh has been accused of masterminding five bomb blasts in Pakistan's Punjab province, killing 14 people and wounding 89 others. On August 18, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence awarded to the petitioner, by dismissing his appeals on similar judgements by the Lahore High Court and Anti-Terrorism Court.