SHC annuls sentences handed to MQM workers

Summons JIT head in missing persons case, IO in assets beyond means case against prisons adviser


Our Correspondent January 23, 2021
PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI:

The Sindh High Court (SHC) annulled on Friday sentences meted out to two Muttahida Qaumi Movement workers in a case pertaining to the possession of illegal weapons and hand grenades.

A trial court had sentenced each of the two party workers, Zakir and Adnan, to six years in jail.

Nullifying the trial court's ruling, the high court directed the relevant authorities to release Zakir and Adnan if they were not accused in any other case.

According to the prosecution, the two men were arrested in PIB Colony.

Missing persons case

Separately, a two-member bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, summoned the head of a joint investigation team (JIT) constituted on the matter of missing persons.

At the hearing of a plea seeking the recovery of missing persons, the mother of one of them informed the court that some men, dressed in plain clothes, had barged into her house around six months ago and whisked away her son.

"They said they were taking my son with them for an investigation," she further told the court, adding that she had approached the police and courts for the recovery of her son.

At this, Justice Phulpoto inquired as to what steps had been taken for the recovery of missing persons.

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The investigation officer (IO) replied that meetings of the provincial task force on missing persons and JITs formed on the matter were held, but so far, they had not been able to acquire any details of missing persons' whereabouts.

"What is the point of holding JIT meetings if they fail to produce any results?" the court remarked.

The court summoned the head of a JIT at the next hearing and directed the Sindh Home Department, Sindh IGP and other relevant authorities to submit reports on the matter.

IO summoned

The same bench summoned the IO, also seeking case records from him, at the next hearing of the bail plea of adviser to the Sindh chief minister on prisons Aijaz Jakhrani, who is nominated in a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference on charges of misusing his authority and accumulating assets beyond his known sources of income.

At the hearing on Friday, Sukkur NAB prosecutor Ubaidullah Abro represented the NAB director general, whom the court had summoned.

He apologised to the court for remaining absent from previous hearings and said that he had been busy with another court proceeding.

The prosecutor informed the court that an inquiry against Jakhrani was underway as per Supreme Court orders.

According to him, Jakhrani issued millions of rupees on account of educational initiatives, but the funds were embezzled and none of them was spent for development in the education sector.

"Two references against Jakhrani have been filed, and an inquiry is underway against him in a thirds reference," he told the court.

Following that, the court summoned Jakhrani at the next hearing. Jakhrani's lawyer, however, informed the court that his client was infected with the coronavirus and submitted his medical report to the court.

At this, the court extended Jakhrani's bail period until February 9.

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