LHC overturns TTP ‘associate’s’ conviction over terror funding charges

Dawar Khan was convicted by trial court earlier this year; prosecution pleaded Khan was wrongly accused


Rana Yasif December 06, 2021

LAHORE:

The Lahore High Court (LHC)’s division bench, headed by Justice Chaudhry Abdul Aziz, overturned the conviction of a man, said to be associated with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), over charges of raising funds for the organisation.

The bench, setting aside the conviction, ordered to acquit Dawar Khan on an appeal filed by him against the conviction handed down by a trial court earlier this year.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mian Dawood, argued that the trial court did not apply a “judicial mind” and handed down the punishment in ignorance of the real facts of the case.

He maintained that the prosecution had failed to establish any nexus between Khan and the convict, and that the trial court awarded him the punishment after relying on speculations.

The petitioner’s counsel argued that the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) claimed to have confiscated a receipt book for funds from the convict’s possession, but did not involve in its investigation anyone who had given funds to the TTP.

He further argued that the CTD did not produce the Joint Investigation Team (JIT)’s report before the trial court. “Handing down punishment after only relying on the receipt book is an injustice,” he told the court.

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The details of the amounts mentioned on the receipt book do not match with the currency notes that had been recovered from the possession of the convict, he further argued.

“It is the CTD’s failure that a forensic of the receipt book was not conducted,” the counsel argued, adding that it proves the organisation’s negligence.

The signatures of the convict do not match with the signatures available on the receipt book, the advocate further informed the court.

The law officer opposed the arguments of the petitioner’s counsel and told the court that the trial court, applying its judicial mind, awarded one-year imprisonment to the convict. “There is visible evidence of fund raising against the convict, and the trial court awarded the punishment after relying upon substantial evidence,” Dawood added.

According to the case details, CTD Faisalabad had arrested the accused on April 1, 2021 when they received a tip off regarding the accused collecting funds for the organisation, at the Freedi Chowk Millat Road in Faisalabad. On conducting a search, the CTD recovered the receipt book; that had 22 receipts issued from it.

The court had also imposed a fine of Rs20,000 on the accused.

During the trial, the accused denied the allegation levelled against him, claiming that a false case had been registered against him.

Slamming the case and the prosecution witnesses for falsely deposing against him, Dawar Khan informed the court that he had been abducted by unknown people on December 6, 2020 while he was present in his shop. “I did nothing,” he had claimed.

COMMENTS (1)

Maqsud Zafar | 1 month ago | Reply

The joint investigation team the investigating officer and the prosecutor should be dismissed from service for this failure as the LHC judge accepted the defense arguments. Unless we start taking credible action against govt police investigators and prosecutors innocent people will keep on getting convicted and criminals will keep on getting released.

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