The Anti-Terrorism Court III ordered the release of 43 suspects detained by the Boat Basin and Kharadar police stations for their alleged role in the September 21 riots.
On that day thousands of men swept through downtown Karachi looting and vandalising public property, robbing ATMs and restaurants, and setting fire to six cinemas in the worst case of public outrage the city has seen.
The investigating officer of the Boat Basin police station submitted a charge sheet to the court on Wednesday for the 27 men his force had taken into custody. The charge sheet, however, was rejected on the grounds that there was no evidence against the accused.
Special Public Prosecutor Abdul Maroof directed the investigation officer to submit a report under Section 497 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which paves the way for suspects to be released if there isn’t proof against them.
The report was submitted to the court on Wednesday and after agreeing with its findings, the court ordered the release of the 27 suspects.
Similarly, the investigation officer of the Kharadar police was also ordered to submit a report under section 497 (2) for the 16 men detained by the station. The court ordered the release of the men under section 63 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The court was also informed by the prosecutor that section 497 (2) can be applied even if the suspects are in jail.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2012.