PAKISTANI advocate Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi who is fighting a legal battle in the Lahore High Court to get the murder case against Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev re-opened, has said it will be his endeavour to make the British government a party to the case to demand compensation for an unfair trial.
Qureshi, a practising advocate at the Lahore High Court who is the chairman of the Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation in Pakistan, was in Chandigarh Sunday to interact with the members of Bhagat Singh Jagriti Manch, Panchkula. He was accompanied by the senior vice chairman of the foundation in Pakistan, Sufi Tufail Nadeem, who is also an advocate.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Qureshi said the foundation wants that the sham trial of the British government with regard to the case in which Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were sentenced to be hanged, should be exposed before the world.
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“The British must pay compensation for the trial on trumped up charges in which numerous witnesses were not even examined and the judgment was virtually dictated to the court by the British rules,” he said.
The Pakistani advocate gave the example of the Mau Mau anti-colonial agitation of Kenya in the 1950s in which a class action suit was filed against the British government for using excessive force to quash the uprising. “The trial was a judicial murder. The focus of the world in on this case and we are getting calls from all over the world on the new developments in the case,” said Qureshi.
He informed that as of now the Chief Justice of the Lahore High court has to constitute a 5-judge bench to hear the case.
The case has twice been listed before a division bench, he added, which cannot hear it as the \riginal case was heard by the three-judge bench.
“The file is lying in the chamber of the Chief Justice since March 7 and we are awaiting directions. If need be, we will approach the Lahore High Court Bar Association to ask the Chief Justice to speed up the case,” the advocate said.
Qureshi and Nadeem also revealed that they have been receiving death threats from radical Muslim groups who are not happy that they have taken up the case of Bhagat Singh. Both advocates said that the along with their family members have been warned of dire consequences. “I was told by callers that they will kill me and show it as an accident,” said Sufi Tufail Nadeem adding that the threats emanated from certain ‘Mullahs’. They, however, added that they were not cowed down by the threats and that they will take the case to the logical conclusion.
Also present was Chaman Lal, a former professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and an authority on Bhagat Singh. He said that there was no unimpeachable evidence against Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev and had the due process of law been followed they would not have been hanged.
Earlier, the Pakistan advocates met Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who said the Punjab government will make the entire payment for taking over the ancestral house of Bhagat Singh in Banga Village in Pakistan’s Faislabad district (earlier known as Lyallpur).
Badal said the state government wanted the house to be turned into a monument.