Wednesday October 27, 2021

SHC sets aside jail term of man convicted of collecting donations for proscribed outfit

September 28, 2021

The Sindh High Court on Monday set aside 10-year imprisonment of an alleged proscribed organisation member who had been convicted of charges of collecting donations for the banned outfit.

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) had on June 12, 2021, sentenced Mohammad Uzair to aggregated 10 years in prison for collecting donations for a banned outfit to be used for terrorist activities.

A counsel for the appellant submitted that he was innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case by police. The lawyer claimed that his client had no connection with any proscribed organisation and nor did he collect donations to fund terrorist activities.

The counsel sought acquittal of the appellant stating that the prosecution had failed to prove its case. Meanwhile, an additional prosecutor general supported the trial court judgment and sought dismissal of the appeal.

A division bench of the SHC comprising Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha and Justice Irshad Ali Shah after hearing the arguments and perusal of the evidence of the case observed that no independent witness had been associated to witness the arrest of the appellant though the complainant, ASI Imdad Hussain, was having advance information of the incident.

The SHC observed that the FIR did not contain the time of the incident and as per a prosecution witness, no receipts for donations had been issued by the appellant himself. The bench observed that the receipts were allegedly issued by the appellant but the investigation officer did not send them to a handwriting expert to ascertain whether those were actually issued by him.

The SHC observed that nothing had been brought on record which suggested that the appellant was a member of any proscribed organisation. The high court observed that the prosecution had not been able to prove the involvement of the appellant in the alleged offence beyond any shadow of doubt.

The bench set aside the sentence awarded to the appellant and acquitted him of the offences with which he had been charged.