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Monday February 26, 2024

SHC takes exception to involvement of police in missing person case

February 12, 2024

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has taken exception to involvement of a police investigation officer in the disappearance of a missing person and directed the Sindh inspector general of police (IGP) to explain why action should not be taken against the official.

The Sindh High Court building. — SHC website
The Sindh High Court building. — SHC website

The direction came recently on a petition of Masood Ahmed against unlawful detention of a Quetta-based businessman Mohammad Hussain allegedly by personnel of law enforcement agencies.

The petitioner submitted that Hussain was picked up by personnel of law enforcement agencies in the presence of police on November 11, 2023, from his office situated at the Saima Trade Centre within the limits of the Arambagh police station.

A division bench of the high court headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto observed that the investigation officer, DSP Khushnud Dilshad, had given an incomplete statement. The SHC observed that pictures attached in the petition showed that the alleged missing person was taken away by the police but despite that, the investigators had clue whatsoever regarding the whereabouts of the missing person.

The bench observed that it appeared that the investigation officer was in collusion with those who had taken away the missing person. The SHC issued notice to the IGP to explain why an action against the investigation officer shall not be taken and why under his supervision a person had been taken away by the police.

The SHC observed that as per evidence from the pictures, the investigation officer failed to recover the missing person or find any clue. The high court directed the Sindh police chief to explain the police’s failure to take action against the delinquent investigation officer and observed that in case, the investigation officer failed to recover the missing person, the IGP would have to explain the position.

In other missing persons cases, the SHC directed the secretaries of the interior and defence ministries to submit reports with regard to the whereabouts of the missing persons and tell whether they were in the custody of agencies working under their control. The high court also directed the provincial task force and joint investigation teams to repeat their sessions for ascertaining the whereabouts of the missing persons.