KARACHI: After two years of sluggish progress, Sulaiman Lashari’s family’s quest for justice may finally be expedited as the Sindh High Court (SHC) ordered the concerned anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday to conduct daily proceedings of the murder case.
Lashari was allegedly shot dead by a police officer’s son and his guards around two years ago. SHC Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh, who headed the two-judge bench, passed this direction to the ATC while disposing of a contempt application against the prosecutor and investigation officer of the case for allegedly delaying the trial.
The victim’s father, Ghulam Mustafa Lashari, had moved the SHC accusing the prosecution and investigation officer (IO) of causing inordinate delays in conclusion of the trial.
In his contempt plea, he alleged that IO Mobin was deliberately delaying proceedings by employing different tactics in order to favour the accused, Salman Abro, who is the son of Sakrand Police Training Centre SSP Ghulam Sarwar Abro.
Only two witnesses have been examined in the court so far despite a lapse of two-and-half-years, alleged the applicant’s lawyer, Salahuddin Panhwar.
He recalled that the SHC had last year ordered the investigator to ensure that the witnesses are produced before the relevant court at every hearing amid adequate security without any delay. The trial court was also directed to ensure that no adjournment is granted to the prosecutor or the IO, he added.
Panhwar said that the IO is once again using delaying tactics, which are hampering the trial that will ultimately benefit the accused. He pleaded to the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the IO and others for deliberately and willfully violating the court’s order.
On Friday, the bench disposed of the petition, directing the relevant ATC to conduct the trial proceedings expeditiously on a day-to-day basis to ensure it conclusion in accordance with the law.
Gone too soon
Eighteen-year-old Sulaiman was killed a little after midnight at the balcony of his Defence Housing Authority home on May 8, 2014 while studying for exams.
Abro had arrived at the victim’s home with five police constables to ‘settle’ an argument that had emanated from a vehicle overtaking issue a few days earlier, according to investigators. Sulaiman was killed in the shoot-out, while his brother Zeeshan and the guards deployed at their house retaliated and killed constable Zaheer Ahmed as well as injuring Abro.
The charge-sheet submitted by the police against the suspects in the murder case states that Abro and constables Maqbool Ahmed Brohi, Imran Ali Arain, Yaseen Jamali and Muhammad Rashid are in custody.
Talking to The Express Tribune a few months ago, Zeeshan said “Recently we observed Sulaiman’s second death anniversary. We continue to mourn his death but the question is when will my brother’s killers be punished?”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2016.
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