KARACHI: The tussle between the state and former home minister, Zulfiqar Mirza, over recording his statement came to an end on Thursday as the anti-terrorism court (ATC) I pronounced its verdict.
The order, which was reserved two days ago, came out in such a way that both the parties seemed content with it. The ATC-I judge, Bashir Ahmed Khoso, directed Mirza to appear before the investigators at the Darakhshan police station, near his DHA residence, whenever they call him.
The former minister had gone to the court against his summon by the police at the Crime Branch in Jamshed Quarters office, citing 'serious security concerns'. He had told media that the police, with 'malafide intentions', were calling him at places which posed 'murder threats' to him from political rivals. He had added that he was willing to record his statement at his home or in court.
When the matter was put up for hearing, state attorney Muhammad Khan Burero, argued that the police could not act according to the will of an accused.
"Mirza is bound by the law to appear before the police," he said. "However, if he fears going to the Jamshed Quarters, the investigators can come at the police station near his residence but not at his home."
After the verdict was announced, Burero told The Express Tribune that the court passed the order in their favour.
On the other hand, Mirza's attorney, Ashraf Samoo, said that the judgement comforted his client as he had 'threats' to his life in moving around the city.
Meanwhile, the court dismissed a plea moved by the defence to change the investigation officer of the case, observing that investigation had already been transferred once to the Crime Branch.
The estranged leader of the Pakistan People Party was charged earlier this month by the Badin police for rioting, looting, damaging public property, deterring public servants from discharging their duties and attempting to murder under the anti-terrorism act.
Meanwhile, a district and sessions court granted bail to Mirza in a newly registered case against him at the Arambagh police station.
He was accused of climbing atop an armoured personnel carrier of the Special Security Unit of Sindh police and threatening police officers who stopped him from doing so, outside the ATC. The top judge of District South, Ahmed Saba, approved the pre-arrest bail until May 30 against a surety of Rs100,000.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2015.
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