JIT to be constituted to probe Parveen Rehman murder, govt assures SC

SC laments that killers of social worker could not be brought to justice


Hasnaat Malik December 20, 2018
Social Activist Perveen Rehman. PHOTO: NPR

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Wednesday assured the Supreme Court that a new joint investigation team (JIT) will be constituted to probe into the 2014 murder of social worker and the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) director Parveen Rehman.

Heading a three-judge bench hearing a plea seeking reinvestigation of the high profile killing, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed said it was tragic that so far Parveen’s murderers could not be arrested. The social worker was brutally gunned down on March 12, 2014 by two unknown motorcyclists in Karachi.

Her driver, Wali Dad, had lodged an FIR. In February this year, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) filed a petition for independent, fair, and effective reinvestigation into her targeted killing.

Raheel Kamran Sheikh, counsel for petitioner, told the SC that in the last five years no concrete progress had been made in the case. “I filed an application for constituting a new JIT including investigators from federal intelligence agencies. However, the government has not constituted the team,” he said.

He said the former JIT in its final report, submitted to the SC on April 24, accepted that it was unable to fix exact role of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Qari Bilal in the killing. It believed that a policeman, SI Moeed, was the one who maneuvered the case in that direction.

He said confessional statements of certain accused individuals obtained by the investigating agencies are not judicial confessions and therefore cannot in any way be the sole basis upon which a court shall be able to secure their conviction.

Additional Attorney General Tariq Mahmood Khokar informed the bench that in November, the Interior Ministry was approached to form a new JIT, adding that the ministry has sought the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) opinion in this regard.

Justice Saeed questioned where it is written that a new JIT could not be constituted. He said in Model Town case another JIT had been set up and the Punjab government had formed the JIT.

The judge noted that mala fide of the Sindh Police has spoiled the whole case as according to additional attorney general there are proofs that efforts were made to hush up the matter therefore a fresh JIT was constituted. Hearing of the case was later adjourned till second week of January.

 

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