Saturday July 13, 2024

Three men awarded 13-year jail term for robbery, encounter with police

By Yousuf Katpar
March 26, 2023

An anti-terrorism court has awarded thirteen-year imprisonment each to three men on charges of committing an armed robbery, engaging in an encounter with police and causing terrorism.

Sain Bux alias Zakhmi Chandio, Asad Abbasi and Abdul Razzak were found guilty of robbing a citizen at gunpoint and attacking police with intent to kill in Karachi’s Shah Latif Town in September 2021.

The ATC-II judge also imposed a fine of Rs15,000 on each convict, and in case of failure to pay the fine, they would have to undergo nine-month additional imprisonment.

Sain Bux and Asad were handed down five more years in prison and a Rs5,000 fine for possession of illicit arms. The convicts were remanded back to the prison to serve out the sentences that shall run concurrently. They were also given the benefit of Section 382-B (considering the period of detention since their arrest) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

The judge observed that the prosecution proved its cases against the accused beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt. As per the record, Sain Bux and Razzak were involved in other crimes as well, he said, adding that neither the accused nor their lawyers bothered to clarify their position regarding their repeated involvement in such serious offences.

“It goes without saying that courts do not function in vacuum and have to take into consideration the overall circumstances prevailing in our society,” the judge remarked. “If and when the culprits like the present ones are apprehended then, they somehow manage to come out of jail and repeat the same crimes or commit even heinous crimes.”

According to the investigating officer, four men on two motorcycles snatched a mobile phone, Rs5,000 cash and other valuables items from a citizen on the National Highway near Honda Showroom in Shah Latif Town on September 27, 2021 and fled the scene. Moments later, a police party arrived there and the citizen narrated the incident to them. The police went after the muggers and on spotting them singalled them to stop, but they opened fire on the police.

In the ensuing encounter, one of them was injured and fell to the ground. The police succeeded in apprehending three of them while one managed to escape. Two unlicenced pistols were seized from Sain Bux and Asad. One motorcycle recovered from their possession was found to have been stolen from the jurisdiction of the Preedy police station.

In his testimony before the court, Asad claimed that he was arrested by the police three days before the alleged incident and shot in his leg to implicate him in the present cases. He added that the weapon and snatched property were foisted upon him. The other two accused took the same line of defence saying they were picked up from Thatta and framed in the cases.

However, the judge noted that the accused failed to place on record any evidence to corroborate their claims and to show that the police, prosecution witnesses and the investigating officer all acted with malice or had an enmity with them.

Separate cases were lodged under sections 392 (punishment for robbery), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 324 (attempted murder), and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 23(i)A of Sindh Arms Act read with Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.