A policeman has managed to get out of a suit for detaining a young man without charge for five days, including the Eid holidays, by paying the petitioner Rs9,500.
Muhammad Waheed had filed a habeas corpus petition for his son Bilal, contending that he had been detained illegally at Shafiqabad police station for five days.
A bailiff later found Bilal at the police station and reported to Additional District and Sessions Judge Khizar Hayat Sial that he was not wanted in an FIR and his arrest had not been brought on record.
Before further proceedings on Monday, Sub Inspector Muhammad Yahya, who had been summoned by the court, was seen apologising to Waheed and begging him to drop the case.
Five other policemen accompanied him and tried to persuade the petitioner to forgive him.
The petitioner eventually agreed to tell the judge that he had forgiven the sub inspector in exchange for the sum of Rs9,500.
In the courtroom, the judge reacted angrily to news of the settlement. He asked SI Yahya whether Bilal had been wanted for a crime. The SI replied that members of the public had handed him over to the police. The judge flared up. “I asked you whether he was a criminal wanted in any case,” he thundered. “He was not,” the sub inspector replied.
The judge then asked why Bilal had been detained and other questions to which the policeman had no response. “You people have destroyed this society,” he said.
He also told off Waheed when he asked him to dispose of the petition since he had “forgiven” the police officer. The judge threatened to direct the capital city police officer (CCPO) to register a case against Yahya, eliciting a plea for forgiveness from the sub inspector. The judge told him to shut up.
However, he later disposed of the petition.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Waheed said that he was glad to have his son back after a traumatic Eid holiday. Asked why he had agreed to forgive the sub inspector, Waheed said that the money was compensation for the mental agony he had suffered over the last week.
According to the FIR, registered on Waheed’s complaint, Bilal went missing on August 30 after he went shopping for some clothes. Waheed said that the family tried to call him but his phone was switched off. They also looked for him at hospitals and police stations but could not find him.
On the night before Eid, Waheed said he received an anonymous phone call stating that his son was being detained at Shafiqabad police station. He said that he met SI Yahya there and he demanded Rs30,000 for Bilal’s release. The SI had threatened to frame Bilal for a crime if he did not pay up, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2011.
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