Court annuls sentence of accused in Lyari firing case

Three accused were awarded 27 years imprisonment each by ATC

Our Correspondent April 03, 2019
Three accused were awarded 27 years imprisonment each by ATC. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC), accepting the appeals of accused, annulled the sentence awarded to them in a case pertaining to firing on Rangers and police in Lyari. A tw0-member bench, comprising Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto and Justice KK Agha, announced the verdict on Tuesday after which which the accused, Talha, Imtiaz Bengali and Saeed, were released. The court said that the prosecution had failed to prove the charges.

According to the prosecutor, the accused had opened fire at the Rangers and police within the jurisdiction of Kalakot Police Station. They had been awarded 27 years of imprisonment each along with penalty in 2017.

Bail pleas rejected

The SHC dismissed the bail pleas of medical superintendent Pervez Memon, Arif Khaleel Hashmi and Tauseef Ahmed accused of Rs250 million corruption in Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (SESSI). A two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Ahmed Ali Sheikh and comprising Justice Omar Sial, was hearing the pleas on Tuesday in which the CJ remarked that the accused do not appear before the court after they get bails like it is a joke.

Once their bails are rejected, they will come running to the court, he added and dismissed the bail pleas of all three accused.

According to National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the suspects had started a fake company for the provision of medicines to SESSI. The corruption reference of Rs250m was filed on the charges of misuse of authority.

Food dept corruption

The same bench directed the investigation officer on Tuesday to record the statement of food authority secretary in the corruption of Rs400m worth of wheat borrowed from the Sindh Food Department.

The counsels for accused maintained that the Khairpur, Rani Pur and Sachal flour mills borrowed wheat from Sindh Food Department. The CJ remarked that people were dying of hunger and these people are making money out of wheat.

The court, ordering the counsel for accused to come prepared on April 12, adjourned the hearing.

Kamran Michael's plea

The same bench sought reply from NAB officials by April 18 in a case of assets beyond income against former federal minister Kamran Michael. The court was hearing Michael's plea against the arrest by NAB. The court, seeking replies from NAB, adjourned the hearing till April 18.

The petition argued that there had been no evidence against Michael, hence, the arrest was baseless.

Dr Asim case

Sindh Inspector General (IG) of Police Dr Kaleem Imam submitted his reply in SHC on Tuesday through a public prosecutor on a petition filed against the arrest of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader and former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain in 2015 by the Rangers.

The court was hearing the petition filed by Dr Zareen, wife of Dr Asim, which said that Dr Asim's arrest by the Rangers was illegal and challenged the Rangers' authority to keep an accused in custody for three months.

The Sindh IG in his reply said that there was no connection of Sindh police with the arrest of Dr Asim. ''Sindh police is performing its duties as per law,'' he said.

He added that in the application, no clear allegation on Sindh IG was levelled by the petitioner and so his name should be removed from the case. The home secretary and Rangers have submitted their replies on the petition.

Ranger's prosecutor Sajid Mehboob said that Rangers had submitted a reply on the petition one year ago. However, the Rangers had in their reply claimed that they had arrested Dr Asim on the charges of treating and harbouring militants and gangsters in his hospital.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2019.