KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) sought arguments over the plea filed for the cancellation of former SSP Rao Anwar’s bail as well as that of other accused in the Naqeebullah murder case. The plea was filed by the petitioner, Muhammad Khan.
During the hearing on Thursday, Anwar’s counsel, Advocate Amir Mansoob, argued before a two-member bench, comprising Justice Salahuddin Panhwar and Justice Shamsuddin Abbasi, that the plea was not maintainable and detailed arguments were required on it. The court inquired whether Anwar has been accused of direct involvement in Naqeebullah’s murder. Advocate Mansoob informed the court that Anwar has been accused of issuing orders to kill Naqeebullah. The court further inquired whether Anwar plotted Naqeebullah’s murder. Mansoob maintained that Anwar was not present at the place of the incident during the encounter.
He said that five FIRs have been registered in the case, adding that a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has issued charge sheets against Anwar and other accused police officials while the actual culprits, including Shoaib Shooter, Amanullah Marwat and others, are still on the run. Mansoob said that of the three separate police parties accused in the case, one is accused of taking Naqeebullah and others into custody from Sohrab Goth, another of carrying out a police encounter and a third of faking a police encounter. The Naqeebullah murder case needs to be probed further, he said.
He also requested the court to reschedule the next hearing as he has to appear before the chief justice. The court accepted the request and adjourned the hearing till September 25.
Bail plea accepted
The same bench accepted duty officer, sub-inspector Riaz Amir’s bail plea against a surety of Rs200,000 in the Irshad Ranjhani murder case.
The defence lawyer maintained that Amir had handed over Irshad Ranjhani to a police team in an injured condition.
Counsel for the deceased, Ranjhani, argued that he died due to the negligence and carelessness of the police. Police officials are equally responsible for Ranjhani’s death, he said.
Court accepted Amir’s bail plea and ordered him to submit a surety of Rs200,000.
Illegal land occupation
Another two-member bench of the SHC, comprising Justice Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Kosar Sultan, ordered the completion of all official work regarding the provision of alternative land for science laboratory within 30 days, in a case pertaining to the illegal occupation of land reserved for the laboratory.
The counsel for the petitioner, Advocate Dr Saeed Saifi, maintained that seven acres of land, reserved for the science laboratory, has been illegally occupied by the land mafia. He informed the court that while alternative land has been allotted for the laboratory, there has been delay in the completion of official work by the officials of the Board of Revenue.
The court expressed annoyance over the absence of any representative from the Land Utilisation Department during the hearing and remarked that the land has been allotted to thieves and burglars.
Lawyer representing the Board of Revenue maintained that the former department secretary Aftab Memon is in NAB’s custody and current secretary Danish has been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Department.
Justice Rizvi said that all elements found to be involved in the illegal occupation of land would be imprisoned. It seems that illegal occupation is being facilitated by officials in the Land Utilisation Department, he said, adding that a senior official should be appointed as a senior member in the Board of Revenue and official work for the allotment of land should be completed within 30 days.
In another case pertaining to the recovery of missing citizens, the SHC ordered the Sindh government, police and other law enforcement agencies (LEAs) on Thursday to submit a detailed report regarding the recovery of more than 70 missing persons by October 9.
A two-member bench of the SHC, comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Khadim Hussain Tunio, heard a set of pleas filed by the families of missing persons and directed the police and other LEAs to recover the missing persons and present them before the court.
The petitioners in their petitions stated that police and LEAs detained their family members from different areas of Karachi after which they went missing. The families appealed to the court for recovery of the missing persons.
The bench remarked that the inquiry should not be conducted only on paper and missing persons must be recovered. Citizens have been missing for many months and it is the responsibility of the state to provide security to them, it remarked.
WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM PPI
Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2019.