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June 1, 2020

SHC tells govt to place on record documents justifying detention of banned outfit’s activist

Karachi

June 1, 2020

The Sindh High Court has directed the Sindh government to place on record all documents to justify the 90 days’ detention of a proscribed organisation’s activist who was recently released in the Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) car bombing case.

The direction came during the hearing of a petition of Aziza Naeem, who challenged the detention of her son-in-law, Abdul Hameed Bugti, under the MPO for 90 days. The petitioner submitted that her son-in-law had been incarcerated in prison on charges of his involvement in the PIDC car bombing case for the last 14 years, and he had been exonerated by the SHC on April 9 this year due to lack of evidence. However, she said, the prison authorities refused to release him and detained him under the MPO.

The home secretary filed a report mentioning that the representation of the detainee, who had an affiliation with the Balochistan Liberation Army, had been dismissed on May 14 as it was apprehended by the law enforcement agencies that if Bugti was not detained under the MPO he would abscond from the judicial process and indulge in activities prejudicial to security and likely to pose a grave threat to the public safety and cause breach of peace and tranquility.

The court was informed that the detainee was booked in 11 criminal cases but acquitted in 10 cases, while he was declared proclaimed offender in one case registered under Section 392/34 of the PPC in 2002.

The court inquired the provincial law officer as to why the detainee was declared a proclaimed offender and was not produced before the court when he had been in custody since 2005. It further said his pending trial should have been concluded during his incarceration in the prison.

A division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha directed the prisons inspector general, the home department and the prosecutor general of Sindh to submit the entire record with regard to the proclamation of the detainee a proclaimed offender by the trial court.

The court directed the advocate general to submit all documents which led the home department to issue an order under the MPO against the detainee as well as information which the home secretary considered prior to the April 10, 2020, when the MPO order was issued.

The advocate general submitted that some material against the detainee may be of secretive nature, which he would file in the court in a sealed envelope. The court, granting time, directed the AG to submit the relevant record by June 18.

On April 9, the SHC had dismissed appeals of two convicts and upheld their death sentences in the PIDC car bombing case; however, it had set aside the death sentence of third convict Abdul Hameed Bugti and acquitted him of charges as no evidence had been found against him.

Abdul Aziz Baloch, Mangla Khan and Abdul Hameed Bugti, stated to be activists of an anti-state organisation, were sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court in Karachi, which found them guilty of the car bombing outside the PIDC building on November 15, 2005.

Four people were killed and 21 others wounded after a bomb exploded in a car (ACB-490) parked outside the PIDC building during the morning rush hour on November 15, 2005. The explosion also caused damage to a fast-food outlet, bank branches on the ground floor and offices on upper floors, besides several parked vehicles.

According to the prosecution, absconding co-accused Sardar Brahimdakh Bugti, grandson of the late Bugti chieftain and central leader of Jamhori Watan Party Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, had given the task to Aziz Khan, Mengla Khan and Abdul Hameed for executing the bomb explosion outside the Pakistan Petroleum Limited office as the PPL was not giving jobs to their people.