Tuesday May 24, 2022

Fahad Malik murder case: All three accused to remain in jail after hearing

In latest development in the Fahad Malik murder case, an SC bench said murder suspects' petition would not be entertained at the Supreme Court

September 19, 2019
The News/Files

ISLAMABAD: The three men accused of Barrister Fahad Malik's murder were to remain in jail after their legal team on Thursday withdrew bail applications before the Supreme Court's three-member bench.

In the hearing, the Supreme Court bench — headed by Justice Umar Atta Bandial and comprising Justices Faisal Arab and Ijaz-ul- Ahsan — questioned the murder suspects' lawyers, asking them the reason to bring the matter before the apex court when a trial at the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court was already nearing its end.

The accused — Raja Arshad Mahmood, Noman Khokhar, and Raja Hashim Khan — had appealed against the Islamabad High Court's (IHC) order restraining their release from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. Justice Bandial remarked that the case of Fahad Malik’s murder was of a “sensitive nature”.

The lawyers — Ahsan Boon and Azam Naseer Tarar — argued that the Supreme Court could issue directions to shift the case to any court, to which Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan responded saying the petition was not maintainable and that the SC could ask the IHC to deal with the case in a specified time frame.

They told the apex court that Arshad had not attempted to abscond to Afghanistan soon after Malik's murder but the deceased's brother, Jawad Sohrab Malik , had produced evidence before the court establishing that the accused had been caught at Torkhan Border while attempting to flee.

Jawad Sohrab Malik 's legal team comprises Faisal Siddiqui and Khawaja Naveed.

The bench remarked that the murder suspects' petition would not be entertained at the Supreme Court and ordered for the order to be written down. The lawyers consequently pleaded to withdraw the bail petition.

It is pertinent to mention here that the ATC trial was nearing its completion and a judgement is expected in a few weeks.

Siddiqui, part of Jawad Sohrab Malik 's legal team, had argued that an order by ATC court judge Kausar Abbass Zaidi granting bail was a perverse one and the IHC had correctly suspended it, halting the killers' released.

Further arguing that the ATC trial was almost at its conclusion already, Siddiqui said the three accused had misguided the court and repeatedly raised objections over all judges who have decided against them.

Jawad Sohrab Malik said the fact that the accused had withdrawn their application after a full hearing indicated that they were using every delaying tactic to prevent justice. He said he was grateful that the bench had seen the accused's actual aim through the false allegations and using tried tricks.

“My brother Fahad was murdered on August 15, 2016, by powerful gangsters in the heart of Islamabad," he said. "There are good people in the world also [so] we will continue to pursue the case despite delaying tactics of the killers. InshAllah, justice will be done very soon.”

Back in April, the ATC had granted post-arrest bail to Raja Arshad, the primary accused. The IHC, on the other hand, had restrained the Adiala Jail Superintendent from releasing Arshad after Jawad Sohrab Malik 's team filed an application.

The IHC had converted the application into a petition and restrained the jail superintendent “from releasing the accused, namely Raja Arshad”. It was contested before the court that the suspect was granted bail at a time when the trial was in its final stages and the accused's statements were to be recorded under section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code.