By Akhtar AminOctober 20, 2016Print : Peshawar
Arms purchase scandal
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday restrained the accountability court from framing charges against a senior police officer in a high-profile case of alleged embezzlement in procurement of weapons for the Police Department.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan stayed the framing of charges against Sadiq Kamal Orakzai, deputy inspector general of police, till October 27, the next date of hearing.
The bench put on notice the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit reply to the question raised in the petition. The petitioner sought the court order to refrain the accountability court from framing charges against him in the case.
The accountability court had fixed Thursday for framing charge against the petitioner in the case, which he challenged in the high court. He had also challenged the accountability court decision in which the court had dismissed an application of the petitioner and that of two other senior police officers, including the then DIG (Headquarters) Peshawar, Dr Mohammad Suleman, the then AIG (Establishment) at the Central Police Office, Kashif Alam, filed under Section 265-D of the National Accountability Ordinance.
Through the application, the police officers wanted exoneration in the case under Section 265-D of the Criminal Procedure Code. The Section 265-D explained that “If, after perusing the police report or, as the case may be, the complaint, and all other documents and statements filed by the prosecution, the court is of opinion that there is a ground for proceeding with the trial of the accused, it shall frame in writing a charge against the accused.”
During hearing, the petitioner’s lawyer Amir Javed submitted before the bench that the petitioner had surrendered for a trial in the case as the accountability court had earlier not summoned him along with other five police officers in the case as the case was not established against them.
However, he said, when the police officer joined the case and applied for exoneration from the charges in the case, his application was dismissed despite the fact that there was no evidence against him in the case but he was just a member of the purchase committee.
The lawyer prayed before the bench to stop the accountability court from framing charges against his client because if the charges were framed, he could be suspended from his job. He requested the court to suspend the framing of charge till decision on the petition.
However, the Deputy Prosecutor General NAB, Muhammad Jamil Saraf, submitted before the court that the high court could not pass an order to restrain the accountability court from framing charges as it would affect the trial.
He stated that earlier charges were framed against the accused including the petitioner and five other police officers in the arms scam and that had got the finality as no one had challenged it in the court.
After granting interim relief the court told both the parties that the interim order was only up to Thursday and the case would be decided after argument on both the sides. Earlier, the NAB chairman had issued arrest warrants against the six police officers, against which they had got stay order from the high court.
The three police officers including Sadiq Kamal Orakzai, Dr Mohammad Suleman and Kashif Alam joined the trial in the accountability court after the NAB assurance that it would withdraw arrest warrant against them.
However, the remaining three police officers including then commandant of Frontier Constabulary Abdul Majeed Marwat, DIG at Central Police Office Sajid Ali Khan and Abdul Latif Gandapur, the former additional IGP Operation (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), did not join the trial and decided to defend their cases in the high court.
Currently, former provincial police officer Malik Naveed Khan and budget officer of the Police Department Jawed Khan are facing trial in the case.