SHC acquits man sentenced to 19 years in extortion and arms possession case

Ammaduddin was arrested in January, 2014


Our Correspondent January 31, 2018
The court was pleaded to call a record of the proceedings from the trial court, examine them and set aside the conviction and sentences awarded to the appellant. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) set aside on Tuesday the conviction of a man sentenced to 19-years in jail in a case of extortion and arms possession.

A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, ordered the prison authorities to release Ammaduddin if his custody was not required in any other case. The bench passed its order after hearing arguments from the defence lawyer, prosecutor, investigation officer and complainant.

An anti-terrorism court had sentenced the appellant, who was said to be affiliated with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), to 14 years in prison after convicting him of taking extortion from a vegetable trader.

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The police claimed that he was caught 'red-handed' in January, 2014 while collecting extortion money from the complainant, Khameeso, a middleman at a fruit and vegetable wholesale market.

The complainant had alleged that he was being threatened by some unidentified callers, who identified themselves as members of the TTP and demanded Rs1 million extortion.

On January 13, 2014, the police claimed to have tracked down Ammaduddin when he allegedly came to collect extortion money in the deserted area of Janjal Goth of Malir.

Ammaduddin was sentenced to 14 years in jail for possessing an unlicensed weapon. In the extortion case, he was awarded a five-year jail term. He was also ordered to pay a fine of Rs100,000, on whose non-payment, he would undergo an additional nine-month imprisonment.

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The appellant, however, denied the allegations. His lawyer, Ajab Khan Khattak, argued that his client was not involved in the offence as alleged by the prosecution. The lawyer contended that the trial court had failed to appreciate the evidence available in record and passed a judgment which was not sustainable in the eyes of law as important facts had not been considered during the trial.

Therefore, the court was pleaded to call a record of the proceedings from the trial court, examine them and set aside the conviction and sentences awarded to the appellant.

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