The Sindh High Court on Wednesday set aside the conviction of a man accused of killing two policemen five years ago while observing that the prosecution had failed to establish its case.
Taj Wali had been sentenced to life imprisonment by an anti-terrorism court on March 12, 2016 after it found him guilty of the murders, and had appealed to the SHC against the verdict.
According to the prosecution, the appellant along with other absconding co-accused attacked Pakistan Post van on January 2, 2013 to loot cash collected from the Peerabad post office branch. The prosecution alleged that the appellants killed two policemen Rizwan and Naeem who were deputed with the post office van during resistance to the robbery and escaped after looting the cash and Rizwan’s official SMG.
However, Wali’s counsel submitted that the prosecution failed to establish its case against the appellant who was arrested several months after the incident. He said that his client was falsely implicated in the case and requested the high court to set aside the conviction.
The state counsel opposed the appeal and submitted that eyewitnesses identified the appellant during the act of offence. He requested the court to dismiss the appeal. After hearing the arguments and going through the evidence, an SHC division bench headed by Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar set aside the conviction and ordered to release the appellant if he was not required in another cases.
Missing persons cases
Separately, the same SHC division bench also expressed concern over the increase in missing persons cases in the country and directed DIGs and SSPs to look into the matter.
Hearing a petition filed by Feroza Begum against the detention of her son, the court observed that despite a lapse of four years, the law-enforcement agencies could not trace the whereabouts of the missing person which was a tragedy.
The petitioner submitted that her son, Mohammad Irshad, an employee of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, was allegedly picked up by the personnel of law-enforcement agencies on October 2, 2013 from Garden and his whereabouts remain unknown. The court observed that cases of missing persons in the country was increasing day by day and turn into a sensitive issue when family members have to bear great psychological trauma.
The court told the concerned DIGs, SSPs to look into the matters relating to the missing persons and adopt hectic efforts for recovery of missing persons as it is duty of law-enforcement agencies to protect the rights of every citizen.
In another similar case, the court directed the West DIG to conduct an inquiry against the SHO of Manghopir police for demanding a bribe from the family of a missing person. The petitioner Shah Izzat Bibi submitted that her brother Lal Zada was taken into custody by the personnel of law-enforcement agencies on August 13, 2017 from Manghopir. She alleged that the SHO had demanded Rs50 million for his release. The SHO, however, denied the allegation. The court directed the West DIG to conduct an inquiry into the allegation and submit a report on May 31.
The court also dismissed petitions against the enforced disappearances of two employees of a China-based private shipping line company as the Counter-terrorism Department told the SHC that both employees have been arrested in connection with a murder of a Chinese national.
The petitioners Hashim and Shakil Ahmed had submitted in their petitions that their sons Rehan Hashim and Saqib Ahmed were allegedly picked up by the personnel of law-enforcement agencies from Saadi Town and Gulistan-e-Johar on February 22 and 23 and their whereabouts are unknown.
They said that Rehan Hashim and Saqib Ahmed were working as finance manager and director of Cosco Shipping line firm whose managing director Chen Zhu was killed by unidentified persons in Zamzama on February 4. They submitted that the detainees were picked up after the murder and expressed apprehension that their detention may be linked with the case as per media reports.
However, the investigation officer of the CTD submitted that Rehan Hashim and Saqib Ahmed were nominated as suspects in the murder case and they were arrested by the police from Hyderabad bus station on May 4.
He added that the home department has been asked to constitute a joint investigation team for adept investigation of the case. When the petitioners’ counsel did not press the petition any further after the arrests, the court dismissed them.
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