The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed the secretary defence to appear in person on July 8 in a case pertaining to a ‘missing lawyer.’
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on Monday 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.
Read: Lawyer’s abduction case: Court summons defence secretary
At the previous hearing, the court had directed the ministry defence and director general of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to depute officers who would appear before the court but the orders were not followed.
While expressing dissatisfaction over failure of officials of the defence ministry and ISI, Justice Siddiqui observed on Monday that no one was above the law and all institutions should respect the judiciary.
The court remarked that contempt of court proceedings could be initiated against the respondents if they continue to undermine court orders.
Additional Attorney General (AAG) Afnan Karim Kundi appeared before the bench and apprised that the defence secretary could not appear as the previous notice was not received in time. The AAG assured the bench that the secretary would appear in person before the court on the next date of hearing.
While accepting his request, the court issued notice and adjourned the case till July 8.
The bench, however, warned that officials would have to face severe consequences if they failed to recover the missing persons.
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.
Read: ‘Missing’ officer’s case: IHC directs defence secretary to nominate official
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 the rear 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 a 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.
The legal community has expressed shock and deep concern over the incident.
Abbasi has cited SHO Industrial Area police, Islamabad IGP, DG ISI and secretaries of the defense and interior ministries as respondents.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2015.