‘Ridiculing’ judiciary: Court rejects Ghotki SSP’s apology

Says further action to be taken after next hearing

Our Correspondent March 28, 2016
Sindh High Court building. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah rejected on Monday the unconditional apology tendered by a senior superintendent of police (SSP) in a case relating to an unauthorised police inquiry against a civil judge in Ghotki.

Heading the division bench, the chief justice directed the deputy attorney general and additional advocate general to file comments of the relevant authorities by April 4 so further proceedings can be initiated.

The bench was conducting a hearing on an inquiry report submitted by Ghotki district and sessions judge Farzana Anwar Shah regarding the initiation of an unauthorised inquiry by the police against a civil judge-cum-judicial magistrate.

The district judge reported that inspector Rana Asif died on February 26 this year. His colleagues allege that the cause of his death was humiliation by Mirpur Mathelo civil judge Aijaz Ali Shah, who had convicted him 'till rising of the court' by keeping him handcuffed and imposed a Rs1,500 fine for not filing reports to the court in the stipulated time period.

The sessions judge reported that, following the incident, police guards escorting the judge and guarding his residence withdrew in protest over their colleague's death from cardiac failure.

Later, Ghotki SSP met judge Farzana in the chamber and informed her that the civil judge was involved in taking bribes from police officials, explaining that when the deceased inspector refused to fulfil the judge's demand [of a bribe], he was targeted and convicted without any reason.

Farzana further reported that she had verbally asked the SSP to lodge a written complaint against the judicial officer so proper action can be initiated according to the law but the police officer initiated an inquiry against the civil judge on his own. The high court was asked to order action against the SSP for initiating an inquiry against a judicial officer without any 'authority'.

During Monday's proceedings, the police officer appeared in response to the court's notice and tendered an unconditional apology. "In consequence to the notice issued by this court, a response has been submitted," observed the bench, adding that "the delinquent officer, Ghotki SSP Saqib Sultan alMehmood, has effected appearance and tenders an unconditional apology, which after looking at his conduct, is not acceptable."

Rejecting the apology, the bench issued notices to the provincial and federal law officers to ensure filing of comments by April 4 after which "further proceedings would be initiated."

Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th,  2016.


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