Unusual suspect: High court cancels remand of blind man accused of robbery

A judicial magistrate had granted a 3-day physical remand.


August 11, 2012

LAHORE:


The Lahore High Court on Friday cancelled the orders of a judicial magistrate granting physical remand of a blind man accused of a dacoity, declaring them “illegal”.


The court also confirmed ad-interim bail earlier granted to the accused, Hafiz Muhammad Naeem, subject to furnishing surety bond for Rs20,000.

Justice Ali Baqar Najfi passed the orders on a habeas corpus petition filed by Nazir Ahmad, seeking Naeem’s recovery from police’s custody.

At the last hearing, the court had summoned the magistrate who had granted the remand. On Friday, Judicial Magistrate Mehr Muhammad Zafar Iqbal Sial appeared before the court, saying that he had taken a good look at the accused before granting a remand. Sial said that the accused could see.

However, the Lahore High Court judge, Justice Najfi remarked that Naeem had been blind since birth, declaring the remand order “illegal”.

The judge reprimanded the police, saying that the investigation had exposed flaws in the system. He ordered that a copy of the court order be forwarded to the DIG (Investigation).

Liaqatabad Police had produced Naeem in court and told the judge that he had been nominated as an accused in a house robbery on Link Road in which mobiles, cash and a laptop were taken.Naeem had also been declared a proclaimed offender by the Model Town CIA, said the police.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2012.

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