JIT sought for probe into charges against PTI leader

Court directs Ministry of Interior to submit progress report in missing person case


Our Correspondent April 21, 2021
PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI:

The Sindh High Court (SHC) granted on Tuesday an extension to the counsel for petitioner for preparing arguments in a plea seeking the formation a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe into the allegations of vandalism against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Sameer Shaikh.

A two-member bench, comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Abdul Mobeen Lakho, was hearing the plea filed by Shaikh, who is booked for vandalism in connection with two cases pertaining to the razing of farmhouses in Malir during an anti-encroachment operation and encounter with the police in PS-88.

When the counsel for Shaikh urged the court for the formation of a JIT, the court remarked, "How can a JIT be formed when the cases' proceedings are under way in the trial court."

At that, the counsel requested the court for an extension to prepare arguments on the matter.

The court accepted his request and adjourned the hearing until June 15.

Read: Scuffles mar Malir’s PS-88 by-poll in Karachi

Missing person case

The same bench sought a progress report from the Ministry of Interior on efforts being made for the recovery of a missing person, Amin.

At the hearing, the investigation officer (IO) submitted a progress report to the court, which the latter found incomplete.

"Is it a report or just a page's [worth of information," the court rebuked the IO.

The court further inquired whether Amin's national identity card had been blocked.

"His card is yet to be blocked by the National Database and Registration Authority," the IO replied.

At that, the court observed that directives for blocking Amin's cards had been issued to NADRA in March and stated that it was issuing a show-cause notice to the NADRA chairperson.

The court summoned the NADRA chairperson in his personal capacity.

"He must inform the court why judicial orders have not been followed."

Besides, the court issued directives for the State Bank of Pakistan to Amin's bank accounts, and the Ministry of Interior's focal person to appear before the court at the next hearing on April 27. The court sought a progress report and a report on Amin's travel history from the Ministry of Interior.

Read more: PTI files review plea against ECP’s order in funding case

Appointment of SBCA director

Separately, the SHC issued notices to the Sindh government and other relevant authorities, seeking their replies on a plea challenging the appointment of Mushtaq Ibrahim Soomro as the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) director.

The counsel for the petitioner claimed before the court that Soomro had been appointed on the post on the directives of an "influential personality" and hence, his appointment was "illegal."

He moved the court to seek the complete records of Soomro's appointment and nullify his appointment.

The court issued notices to the Sindh government, SBCA and other parties, directing them to submit their replies on the plea.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2021.

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