SHC grants stay in Isra University case

Court issues notices to the respondents for December 19 over the varsity's VCship


Our Correspondent November 28, 2022

HYDERABAD:

The Sindh High Court Hyderabad bench has granted a stay order on the verdict of the district and session court Hyderabad, which had transferred the trial of a case against the Kazi family of Isra University and men associated with them to Anti- Terrorism Court.

After considering the contentions of some eight petitioners, including Dr Hameedullah Kazi, Dr Ghulam Qadir Kazi, Dr Ahmed Waliullah Kazi and Dr Roshan Bhatti, the Hyderabad circuit bench issued notices to the respondents for December 19.

The petitioners’ counsel Advocate Sajjad Ahmed Chandio informed that the district and sessions judge of court seven referred the said case to ATC on November 19.

The judge also ordered a reinvestigation of the charges leveled in an FIR registered at Hatri police station on January 15, 2022.

The lawyer argued before the SHC bench that the FIR was lodged with a mala fide intent to implicate the Kazi family.

He added that the complainant, Inspector Aftab Ahmed Memon, became the investigation officer, which is against the annals of law and detriment to the defence.

The counsel for the Kazi’s further said that the names of the eight people were added later, besides over one and a half dozen unidentified men were nominated under sections 353, 324, 147, 148, 149, 337-H (ii), F-(i) and F-(iii) of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Advocate Sajjad Ahmed Chandio reminded that five months after registration of the FIR, Hyderabad DIG Peer Muhammad Shah transferred the inquiry to DSP Hala, Matiari district, Sagheer Mugheri, for reinvestigation.

However, the DIG’s order was challenged in the SHC, which on October 4 restrained the re-investigation while allowing the police to continue the ongoing probe.

He said the court had ordered the police to conduct an inquiry against the police officers who have tried to implicate the Kazi family.

Advocate Chandio pointed out to the SHC that the Hyderabad police are well aware that the Kazi Family, the founders of Isra University and its hospital, are locked in a dispute over the varsity’s administrative control with Dr Nazir Ashraf Laghari.

Dr Hameedullah Kazi and Dr Ahmed Waliullah Kazi claim to be legally appointed chancellor and VC of Isra varsity’s all three campuses in Hyderabad, Karachi and Islamabad.

Laghari, on the other hand, maintains that he is the rightful VC of Isra.

The former administratively controls Karachi and Islamabad campuses, while the latter contains the main campus and its hospital in Hyderabad.

A legal battle over the issue has been underway between the two sides for the last two years.

The lawyer also pleaded that the trial court neglected the well-settled principle that an act of terrorism is not to be confused with an ordinary crime committed in the backdrop of private vendetta.

He also referred to a verdict of the Supreme Court, which had defined terrorism as a crime with the design or purpose of destabilizing the government, disturbing the society or hurting a section of the society to achieve political, ideological or religious objectives.

The learned district and sessions hds committed an error by considering reinvestigation [ordered by DIG Hyderabad] as further investigation, which the SHC has already struck down the order, Chandio said.

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