An anti-terrorism court (ATC) sent on Friday a case pertaining to extortion and wrongful confinement against an officer of the Rangers to a regular court after ruling that it did not fall within the ambit of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
The ATC-III sent the case against a Rangers deputy superintendent, Bashir Ahmed, who is accused of allegedly detaining the complainant in the case, Saeed Ahmed, and two others at his office and demanding money for their release in July 2012.
According to the prosecution, a man, later identified as Zafar Hayat, allegedly abducted a woman from Punjab and brought her to Karachi and kept her at his brother’s residence, who was serving as a constable in 72 Wing Rangers.
When the complainant came to know about the woman, he along with the father and an uncle of the woman went to the office of 72 wing Rangers and met superintendent Bashir, who informed them that the woman had married Zafar and the wedding had cost the latter Rs800,000.
The prosecution said that Bashir told the complainant party that if they wanted to get the custody of the girl back, they would have to pay the said amount, it added. The prosecution further added that the complainant and two others were confined till midnight at the Rangers office and were only allowed to leave after they paid Rs500,000.
Subsequently, they lodged a case, No.198/12, under sections 342, 386 and 34 against them at the Saddar police station.
Upon completion of the charge sheet, the investigation officer recommended that the FIR be disposed of under class C (cancelled) as the prosecution had insufficient evidence against the suspects. The judicial magistrate, however, ruled that the offence fell within the jurisdiction of ATA, 1997, and asked the officer to submit the investigation report before the ATC.
After hearing the arguments, the ATC-III judge ruled that the offence did not fall under the relevant sections of ATA and returned back the investigation report to the officer with directions to submit it before the area magistrate.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2014.
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