Missing software engineer: Court sends notices to IGP, defence, interior secretaries

Petitioner argues replies submitted by state functionaries were unsatisfactory

Arsalan Altaf June 20, 2017
Petitioner argues replies submitted by state functionaries were unsatisfactory, seeks contempt proceedings against the. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday issued notices to the secretaries of defence and interior ministries, as well as the inspector general of Islamabad Police.

The notices were issued while hearing a contempt of court plea in a missing person case.

On May 12, Justice Athar Minallah of the IHC had given ‘a final opportunity’ to the three state functionaries to trace the whereabouts of software engineer Sajid Mehmood, a resident of Islamabad, who had allegedly been kidnapped from his home in Sector F-10/1 on March 14, 2016.

In its order, issued after Mehmood’s wife Mahera Sajid had approached the high court to recover her husband, the court said, “It is admitted position that in daylight some uniformed persons had taken away the husband of the petitioner from his house in vehicles.”

The court had issued notices to ministries of defence and interior and the capital police. The court further directed the respondents to submit a report regarding efforts made in tracing Mehmood’s whereabouts.

The defence ministry, however, told the court that the missing man was not in the custody of either military intelligence services.

However, in its May 12 order, the court had given the respondents until June 16 to trace Mehmood or to explain why the police or intelligence agencies were not responsible for failing to protect the fundamental rights of a citizen.

“In case the husband of the petitioner or his whereabouts are not traced till the next date of hearing [June 16], then the secretaries of ministries of Defence, Interior, and IGP of Islamabad Police shall submit their respective affidavits explaining as to why they and the organisations under their administrative control, may not be declared as responsible for the failure of the state in protecting the fundamental rights of a citizen,” the judge had written in his order.

However, after the respondents filed their replies to the order on June 16, missing software engineer’s family contended that the three state respondents had failed to honour the court’s directive. Subsequently, Mahera’s counsel Umer Gilani approached the court seeking contempt proceedings against the three respondents.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Gilani said that while the respondents had submitted their replies, they were found to be unsatisfactory and had been contested.

The petitioner, hence, urged the court to initiate contempt proceedings against the respondents.

She also urged the court to attach the salaries and emoluments of the respondents till the contempt proceedings are concluded.

After admitting the petition for contempt proceedings, notices were issued to the respondents.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2017.


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