KARACHI: The Sindh High Court granted interim bail-before-arrest to three activists of the Awami National Party in a criminal case pertaining to a kidnapping for ransom of a PML-N activist in Karachi.
On Monday, a division bench, comprising Justice Shahid Anwar Bajwa and Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, issued notice to the Prosecutor General Sindh and called for a record and proceedings of the case from the trial court before July 30.
Applicants Sartaj Khan, Abdul Nasir and Muzaffar Khan sought interim bail after their trial court recalled the pre-arrest bail granted to them on June 14.
Their counsel submitted that complainant Aurangzeb Khan alleged that ANP activists Sartaj Khan, Abdul Nasir, Muzaffar Shah and Khanzadah kidnapped him at gunpoint from the house of his cousin Riaz in Orangi Town on May 30. According to the prosecution, they demanded Rs30,000 in ransom and took him to the ANP’s office, where his cousin Riaz had him freed after paying Rs15,000 in ransom.
Aurangzeb Khan had registered FIR 388/2010 of his kidnapping for ransom against Sartaj, Khanzada, Muzaffar and Nasir under sections 365-A, 506-B and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Iqbal Market police station on May 31.
Their counsel submitted that the applicants were earlier granted pre-arrest bail by Sessions Judge, West, Karachi. But their bail applications were dismissed, as the trial court revoked its order on the grounds that the court’s jurisdiction was barred after SHO PS Iqbal Market objected.
He contended that the trial court had passed an impugned order in the absence of the applicants, their counsel and no prior notice on ante-dating the matter was issued to the applicants or their counsel. Secondly, the prosecution’s case was based on political victimisation as the applicants belonged to the ANP and the complainant was a PML-N worker. He prayed the court to admit them to interim bail before arrest, as they apprehended they would be arrested.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2010.