ADSJ’s murder case: IHC reserves verdict on petition seeking second FIR

Rafaqat Awan’s brother says katcheri attack was diversion to cover up the judge’s murder


Rizwan Shehzad June 22, 2015
Judge Malik Rafaqat Awan. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday reserved the verdict on a petition seeking court directions to register a second FIR in the murder of Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Malik Rafaqat Awan.

IHC Justice Aamer Farooq reserved the verdict after hearing arguments from counsel for petitioner Safdar Hussain, the brother of the late judge.

The petitioner has maintained that the gun-and-bomb attack on the district courts was a diversion to cover up the murder of his brother.

The petitioner, through his counsel Aftab Bajwa and Zaheer Shah, has maintained that the attack was conceived after his brother dismissed an application filed by Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rasheed Ghazi’s son for the registration of a case against Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, which infuriated suspects Babar Hussain, Anees Ahmed, and Khalid Noon.

The three men named worked in the court as gunman, naib qasid and reader, respectively. Babar is facing trial, while the others two were exonerated by the police.

On Monday, the counsel argued that their client did not believe the terrorists shot the judge and there was no legal bar on the authorities to register a second FIR if there is supporting evidence. They argued that if the terrorists killed the judge in his chamber, how were Ali Ahmed and Khalid Noon able to escape unscathed.

The counsel argued that the charge-sheet also states that the circumstances inside the chamber were different, but the police did not register the second FIR. They cited several laws and apex court judgments to support their arguments. The counsel reiterated that they were pursuing a national cause — the fight against terrorism.

It was also revealed by the lawyers that Ahmed and Noon were summoned by the police at least 42 times, but still did not appear before them.

Standing counsel Hadiya Aziz said that the petitioner’s counsel kept criticising the investigation, yet they relied upon it. He said that Ahmed and Noon have already had their statements recorded by the police and eight witnesses have been examined by the trial court to date.

Aziz pointed out that the victim’s family has come forward after a delay of six months. She asked what would be the status of all the prosecution witnesses who have been examined so far and what relief the other aggrieved people would get from the second FIR.

She was of the view that the contents of the petitioner’s claims could be accommodated in the ongoing trial.

Rafaqat Awan was among 11 people killed in the March 2014 attack.

The petitioner has claimed that Babar, Noon and Ahmed planned the attack to make the assassination untraceable to them.

A week before the attack, the suspects allegedly discussed that “terrorists would be deployed to give cover by inflicting and firing more bullets on the judge’s body” and would blow themselves up in case they were apprehended.

But on the day of the incident, the attackers failed to reach the courtroom. In order to make the assassination seem like part of the terrorist attack, the suspects used the same revolver that the judge was shot with to shoot holes in the cupboard and wall of the chamber, according to the petitioner.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2015. 

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