SHC irked at failure to recover missing persons

The Sindh High Court expressed annoyance on Monday at the investigating officials for failure to recover missing persons. A two-member bench, headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, summoned the heads of the relevant joint-investigation teams along with reports at the next hearing.

“Why have the missing persons not been recovered yet?” inquired Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, during the hearing.

Irked at the JIT officials and police for their failure to recover, the court observed that the JIT meetings also remained inconclusive.

During the hearing, one of the petitioners informed the court that her husband, Adil, has been missing for four years. Following which the court inquired of the efforts made thus far for Adil’s recovery.

The investigation officer maintained that six JITs were formed but no trace of Adil could be found.

Directing the JIT heads to appear before the court, along with reports, the bench adjourned the hearing till January 27.

Separately, the court was informed of the disappearance of a student, Zia Shaikh, 22. The petitioners, Zia’s family, informed the court that Zia has no criminal record and has been missing for two weeks. The petitioners stated that they came to know that Zia was held by a security agency in Hyderabad on December 31, 2020, at around three in the morning.

Justice Phulpoto inquired of the petitioner as to why he did not file the plea before the Hyderabad bench. At this, the petitioner maintained that their family was being harassed in Hyderabad, which is why they approached the high court in Karachi. The petitioners appealed to the court for the safe recovery of Zia.

The court issued notices to the provincial home department, the Sindh IGP and the Sindh Rangers director-general over the plea seeking recovery of the missing student.

Report sought

Hearing a plea pertaining to the case of a missing 13-year-old boy being transferred from one police station to another, the court sought a report from the investigation officer.

The petitioner, mother of the missing minor, maintained that the Pakistan Bazaar Police was not investigating the case properly. The police took no action when she informed them of the suspects’ names, she contended.

The petitioner maintained that her son was abducted on June 24, 2020, by persons in her neighbourhood after she refused to let them occupy her house illegally.

During the hearing, the investigating officer informed the court that he is the third IO assigned for the recovery of the missing boy. The case was made Class A but no trace of the child could be found, said Inspector Muhammad Javed.

The court directed the IO to submit a report on the matter.

Bail granted

Separately, the court granted bail to a man accused of killing two officials of the Intelligence Bureau in 2008.

The court accepted the accused, Rashid Ghazi’s, bail plea against a surety of Rs200,000.

According to the charge-sheet, the accused murdered two IB officers, Fazlur Rehman and Ibrahim, in Karachi. The case against Ghazi was lodged at Preedy Police Station in 2008.

The prosecutor had argued that before their murder both IB officers had identified Ghazi for his involvement in the Nishtar-Park incident. The deceased officers had also played an important role in arresting Ghazi in the Marriot bomb blast case and Allama Hassan Turabi’s murder case, the prosecutor had contended.

Missing grandson

Meanwhile, the mother-in-law of notorious Lyari gangster, Abdur Rehman alias Rehman Dakait, approached the high court for the recovery of her missing grandson.

The petitioner, Gul Nisa, has maintained in her plea that two officials in plain clothes detained Rehman’s son, Saiban, two days prior and now she is unaware of his whereabouts. The petitioner contended that the law enforcement agencies are not cooperating to inform them of her grandson’s whereabouts.

The plea moved the court to direct the police to recover Saiban.

The Sindh Rangers director-general, Sindh IGP, provincial home department, Chakiwara Police and others have been nominated as parties in the plea.

Rehman was killed in a police encounter in 2009.

Copyrights board chairperson

Separately, the court sought a report from the relevant authorities after the appointment of a chairperson for the copyrights board while hearing a plea challenging the non-appointment of a chairperson.

The petitioner’s counsel maintained that the seat of the chairperson for the board has been vacant since 2019 and several copyrights cases have been pending. He added that a retired judge has been appointed on the seat.

Who appointed a retired judge for the position, inquired the court. At which, the petitioner replied that the appointment was made by the commerce and industries secretary.

Following this, the court directed the relevant secretary and other authorities to submit their report after appointing a chairperson for the copyrights board and send a copy of the judicial order to the attorney-general of Pakistan and the law ministry.

*With additional input from PPI

Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2021.

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