The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday grilled the police over their failure to produce a member of the Islamabad District Bar Association (DBA) before the court and said how could law and order improve when the police had no clue to the whereabouts of a citizen abducted days ago.
“How would the police know if [Indian intelligence agency] RAW abducts anyone,” remarked Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui while hearing the case of lawyer Hammad Dadan, who along with two others, was allegedly picked up by armed personnel of an intelligence agency on June 20.
On Friday, the court had directed the police to produce the lawyer on June 29 but they failed to do so. The court expressed dissatisfaction but granted one more day to the police to produce the abducted person before the court.
In his remarks, Justice Siddiqui said legal action should be taken against the lawyer if he has committed any crime but if the police fail to produce him (today), the court can summon the head of the intelligence agency in person.
Justice Siddiqui said the court won’t tolerate such behaviour of law-enforcement agencies where rights of citizens are violated.
When the case was taken up on Monday, police officials informed the court that they have registered a case and contacted different agencies but could not ascertain whereabouts of the missing lawyer. The court directed to speed up efforts and produce Hammad.
Mumtaz Anwar Abbasi had approached the IHC saying his son, Hammad, along with three of his friends identified as Abdullah Umar, Ammar Dadan, and Ahmad, went to Masjid Imam Abu Daud near the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences for Taraweeh prayers on June 20.
At around 11pm, the petitioner, through his counsel Mirza Shahzad Akbar, said he received a call from his son asking him to come help him as his car was hit by another vehicle from behind near a private school. Abbasi said when he reached the spot, Ahmad and residents of the area and a number of policemen present there informed him that Hammad, Ammar and Abdullah were taken away by armed men belonging to an intelligence agency.
Abbasi has cited SHO Industrial Area police, Islamabad IGP, director-general of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and secretaries of the defense and interior ministries as respondents.
The legal fraternity has expressed shock and deep concern over the incident. They said that if the defenders of the law were subject to such arbitrary treatment at the hand of state institutions then what justice could an ordinary citizen possibly expect.
Akbar has requested court to direct authorities to register criminal charges against those responsible for the abduction and subsequent illegal detention.
IHC bar association president Aleem Abbasi and DBA president Zahid Mehmood appeared before the court on Monday and said they were satisfied with the court’s directions. However, they said owing to ‘immense pressure’ from bar members, they will decide on a future course of action in case their missing colleague is not produced on Tuesday (today).
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2015.