Sunday December 10, 2023

SHC sets aside life imprisonment of Saad Aziz in cop killing case

October 07, 2022

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday set aside the conviction of a banned militant outfit’s activist in a police man killing case stating that the prosecution had failed to prove charges against him.

Saad Aziz was sentenced to life imprisonment by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) that found him guilty of murdering a policeman deputed in the Rapid Response Force on October 16, 2014. According to the prosecution, the appellant along with absconding co-accused had shot dead policeman Waqar Hashmi near Power House Chowrangi in the New Karachi area when he was returning home.

A counsel for the appellant submitted that Aziz had been falsely implicated in the case as there was no eyewitness to the incident. He submitted that a pistol recovered in another case was foisted on him and this was case of no evidence at all and as such the appellant should be acquitted of the charge by extending him the benefit of the doubt.

An additional prosecutor general submitted that the prosecution had proved its case against the appellant and requested the high court to dismiss his appeal. A division bench of the high court headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha after hearing the arguments and perusal of the evidence observed that there was no last seen evidence of the incident.

The SHC observed that the appellant’s confession before the police was inadmissible in evidence as he was not taken to record his confession before a judicial magistrate for which no explanation had been given by the prosecution.

The high court observed that the appellant was not named in the FIR and it did not appeal to logic or reason that he would confess to a murder which carried a death penalty when at that stage, there was no evidence against him in the murder case that had already been disposed of in the A class when he was only in custody in connection with an illegal arms case.

The bench observed that there was no recovery made from the appellant in the case as he was already in police custody. The high court observed that the prosecution had produced hardly any cogent evidence to link the appellant to the crime and in such like cases the appellant was entitled to the benefit of the doubt as a matter of right. The SHC set aside the life imprisonment awarded to the appellant by the trial court and ordered his release if not required in other cases.