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August 1, 2020

Federal govt’s counsel told to file comments on shifting of naval officers’ trial

Karachi

August 1, 2020

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed a federal law officer to file comments on an application of a woman against shifting of naval officers’ trial in her spouse kidnapping case from the sessions court to the naval tribunal.

The direction came on the application of Rubina who challenged the shifting of trial proceedings against two naval officers from the sessions court to the naval tribunal, who had been accused of kidnapping her spouse.

She submitted that on the direction of the SHC, police had chargesheeted two naval officers, including a woman officer, for abducting her husband, Imran Yousuf, a Pakistan Navy sanitary worker, who had been missing since August 18, 2014.

She submitted that after she had filed a petition, the police submitted the charge sheet against Lt Commander Umar Salam and Lt Somia Aatif for abducting the PN employee in their personal capacity.

She submitted that the judicial magistrate concerned had accepted the charge sheet and issued non-bailable warrants against the suspects for further proceedings. However, an East judicial magistrate approved the naval authorities’ application under the section 549 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Pakistan Navy Ordinance for the transfer of the case and its record to the naval tribunal.

She submitted that the impugned order of the judicial magistrate was against the direction of the SHC’s division bench that directed the trial court to decide the same in accordance with the law. She requested the high court to suspend the judicial magistrate’s order and restrain the naval tribunal from proceeding with the trial with regard to the kidnapping of her spouse.

A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Abdul Maalik Gaddi directed the federal law officer and official respondents to file comments on the applications prior to the next date of hearing. It is pertinent to mention here that the SHC had earlier taken notice of the failure to arrest the suspects involved in the kidnapping of the missing person and the closure of case by the police citing lack of evidence.

The SHC had directed the East SSP to explain as to what need there was of any reinvestigation into the matter when special team members had opined that the case of the petitioner fell under kidnapping due to personal enmity and the case be registered against two naval officers who allegedly kidnapped the PN employee in their personal capacity but used official structure for that.