ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday ordered the secretary defence to appear in person on July 6 as no official from the ministry appeared before the court despite repeated notices in a case pertaining to a ‘missing’ lawyer.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui summoned the secretary while hearing the case of a member of the Islamabad District Bar Association (DBA), Hammad Dadan, who along with two others, was allegedly picked up by armed personnel of an intelligence agency on June 20 and has yet to be recovered.
On the previous hearing, the court had directed the director general of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Ministry of Defence to depute officers to appear before the court.
While expressing dissatisfaction over the failure of officials of the ministry and ISI, Justice Siddiqui observed that no one was above the law and all institutions should respect judiciary.
In his remarks, the judge said the relevant SHO should not rest unless the missing citizen was recovered. The police have failed to produce the missing lawyer despite repeated orders and the court had earlier termed all explanations as mere ‘concocted stories’.
At one point, the court also warned Islamabad IGP that a murder case would be registered against him and others if something happens to the lawyer.
On Friday, IGP Tahir Alam Khan once again told the court that the police was still investigating, adding that the intelligence agencies have also told the police that the victim was not in their custody. He sought a week’s time to investigate the matter.
The court remarked that one week has already been over in the case and failure to produce the lawyer was a question mark on teh police’s performance.
The court had summoned the IGP after the police officials failed to satisfy it in connection with producing Dadan.
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.
Abdullah is reportedly Hammad’s cousin and was allegedly involved in the killing of Federal Investigation Agency Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, the petitioner’s counsel informed The Express Tribune. Umar was arrested as a suspect in the murder of the prosecutor, but was granted bail on medical grounds by an ATC in July last year.
Justice Siddiqui has also observed that being a relative of someone was not a crime and legal action should be taken against the lawyer if he has committed any crime.
The legal community has expressed shock and concern over the incident, Akbar said, adding that if the defenders of the law are subject to such arbitrary treatment at the hand of state institutions then what justice can an ordinary citizen possibly expect.
A number of lawyers, including IHC Bar Association President Aleem Abbasi and District Bar Association President Zahid Mehmood appeared before the court on Friday to express solidarity with the missing lawyer.
Abbasi has cited SHO Industrial Area police, Islamabad IGP, ISI DG and secretaries of the defense and interior ministries as respondents.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2015.