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September 25, 2018

Naqeebullah murder case: SHC allows hearing into plea for Rao Anwar’s bail cancellation

National

September 25, 2018

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday issued notices to the prosecutor general on an application filed by Naqeebullah Mehsud’s family seeking an urgent hearing of a plea for the cancellation of bail granted to suspended police officer Rao Anwar in the 27-year-old’s extrajudicial killing case.

Mohammad Khan, father of the victim, submitted in the application that Anwar and his subordinates had been booked for murdering his son along with three other citizens in a fake police encounter on January 13 in Shah Latif Town in District Malir, and the trial was pending in an anti-terrorism court.

Khan’s counsel Faisal Siddiqui submitted in the application that Anwar had been a very influential officer and his power was evident from the fact that since his arrest in the case on March 21 he had been provided VVIP and discriminatory treatment and for not a single day was he confined to prison; rather, his house was declared a sub-jail.

He said that due to discriminatory and illegal favours being accorded to Anwar, the accused had been threatening the prosecution witnesses and one of the prosecution witnesses, Shahzada Jehangir, had retracted from his statement.

He remarked that the petitioner had expressed no confidence in the presiding officer of the anti-terrorism court and filed a petition in the SHC; however, despite pendency of the transfer application, the ATC judge still proceeded with the case in a hurried manner and granted bail to Anwar.

Khan’s counsel further said the trial court’s bail granting order was patently illegal and had been passed in violation of the principles of the grant of bail, thereby resulting in the miscarriage of justice. The court was requested to cancel the bail application of Anwar and remand him to judicial custody.

The counsel filed an application for an urgent hearing of the case. The court issued a notice to the prosecutor general and fixed October 3 for hearing the case.

On applications seeking the transfer of the murder trial against former SSP Malir Rao Anwar from Anti-Terrorism Court-II to another court, the court issued notices to the advocate general and other unserved respondents in the case and called their comments.

Applicant Khan submitted that the anti-terrorism court hearing the case was giving undue benefit to the accused by not passing orders on his objections and that he had concerns that the presiding officer of the ATC would not be able to act fairly and impartially while deciding the case.

The high court was requested to allow Khan’s application and transfer the trial proceedings from ATC-II to any other competent court of the law in the interest of justice.

Anwar’s counsel also filed power on behalf of his client and sought time to file the reply. The court granting time issued notices to the advocate general and other unserved respondents and called their comments on October 8.

Anwar, who is the key accused in the extrajudicial murder case, has been released on bail by the ATC in two cases – the murder case and an illegal weapons and explosives possession case.

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