Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

Karachi

November 6, 2018
Advertisement

SHC orders transfer of Naqeebullah murder case from ATC-II

Karachi

November 6, 2018

Share

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday granted the application filed by Naqeebullah Mehsud’s family which sought the transfer of the murder trial of former Malir SSP Rao Anwar from the Anti-Terrorism Court-II to another court.

Mohammad Khan, father of Naqeebullah, the South Waziristan-native who was murdered in a fake police encounter in January this year, had explained in his plea that the key accused, SSP Anwar, and his subordinates had been booked for murdering his son and three other citizens in a fake encounter in Shah Latif Town.

Mehsud’s father added that the anti-terrorism court (ATC) hearing the case gave undue benefits to the accused and ignored the petitioner’s objections. Khan said he had apprehensions that the presiding officer of the ATC concerned would not be able to act fairly and impartially while deciding the case.

Khan’s counsel Faisal Siddiqui said the trial court had developed a bias in favour of Anwar and his subordinate officers, and that bias was apparent from the fact that the presiding officer did not consider and pass any order on the written objections filed by the applicant.

Siddiqui argued that it was a settled principle of law that while hearing a bail application, a court should not go into deeper appreciation of evidence, however, the presiding officer of the ATC, while going into deeper appreciation of evidence, gave a detailed order on the bail application of the main accused and made statements in his favour.

The counsel said the judge had already made up her mind regarding the outcome of the extrajudicial murder case. Besides, Siddiqui mentioned that the trial court also recalled its previous order regarding restrictions on movement of the accused outside the country and within the city in a single day.

The lawyer further submitted that one of the prosecution witnesses retracted his statement which proved that Anwar was influencing the proceedings before the trial court and prejudicing his interest in the case.

According to Siddiqui, no protection was provided to the other prosecution witnesses despite the fact that an application was submitted before the trial court for that. The lawyer added that he feared that more witnesses would retract their statements as they were being threatened, and it would in turn weaken the prosecution’s case.

Khan’s counsel further stated that the applicant had developed a reasonable apprehension that the ATC presiding officer would not be able to act fairly and impartially in the case. Unless the transfer application was allowed, the case would be decided in violation of the applicant’s right to a fair and impartial trial, which was in violation of the applicant’s rights as guaranteed under Articles 4, 9 and 10-A of the Constitution, he said.

The SHC was requested to allow Khan’s application and transfer the trial proceedings from ATC-II to any other competent court of the law in the interest of justice. The public prosecutor also did not oppose the application.

An SHC single bench, comprising SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh, after hearing the arguments observed that the transfer of trial was justified as the trial court had made statements in favour of the accused in bail application and fair trial could not take place before the ATC-II. The court allowed the application and ordered transfer of the Naqeebullah murder case and the related illegal arms case from the ATC-II to another court.

It is pertinent to mention that Mehsud’s father consistently expressed his lack of confidence in the ATC judge hearing the murder case, while his counsels repeatedly claimed that SSP Anwar was being given special treatment as he did not spend a single day behind the bars following his arrest and nor he ever appeared on hearings in handcuffs.

Meanwhile, the SHC adjourned till November 26 the hearing of application seeking cancellation of bail of SSP Anwar and DSP Qamar Sheikh in abovementioned cases.

Advertisement

Comments