Weapon of choice: SHC questions Rangers authority to seize ‘licensed arms’

Advocate says govt gave them power to arrest people and keep their weapons.

Our Correspondent August 20, 2014

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court directed the Rangers law officer on Wednesday to produce the provincial government's notification that gives paramilitary troops the authority to seize licensed weapons during raids.

The direction was issued during the hearing of a petition seeking the return of licensed guns seized by the paramilitary force from a house. Lawyer Syed Shabbir Hussain submitted that personnel of the Bhittai Wing of the Rangers raided the house of the petitioner in Memon Goth on February 12.

He claimed that the petitioner's arms licence was valid throughout the province. According to the lawyer, the petitioner needs to keep the weapons at his residence for his personal security as he works in the agriculture business. He argued that the Rangers kept the petitioners weapons illegally. During Wednesday's hearing, advocate Habib Ahmed, who was representing the Rangers, contended that the paramilitary force was authorised by the Sindh government to arrest people allegedly involved in crimes and to seize weapons - licensed and otherwise.

Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh, who headed the bench, directed the Rangers lawyer to place the relevant notification before the court. The bench also summoned the Rangers official, who had conducted search operation to attend the hearing on August 29.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2014.



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