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Supreme Court accepts bail pleas of five suspects in May 9 violence case

Justice Mandokhel admonishes police, prosecution for faulty investigation

By News Desk

March 20, 2024 12:39 PM


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The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday accepted the bail applications of five suspects in a May 9 violence case, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The suspects had been taken into custody for attacking Hamza Camp in Rawalpindi and damaging it.  

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jamal Mandokhel, granted bails to Saifullah, Awais Ayyaz, Kamran, Waqas and Nasrullah in lieu of surety bonds of Rs50,000 each.  

During the hearing, the court admonished the police and the prosecution for faulty investigation.

Justice Mandokhel asked whether being a worker of a party or taking out a rally was a crime. “The state of affairs we are witnessing today is the consequence of banning students’ unions and political parties,” the judge said, adding, “Can we declare a former prime minister ‘traitor’ merely on the basis of a statement given by a head constable?”

“Fear The Almighty Allah. Where are we heading?” he wondered.

Justice Hassan Azhar Rizvi asked what were the proofs against the suspects? “Had their faces been recognized through CCTV camera footages?”

The investigation officer (IO) told the court that the protestors who had attacked the Hamza Camp and government buildings had broken the cameras installed in these areas.

Justice Mandokhel remarked that meant there was no proof against the suspects and these were merely statements given by the police officials on which the prosecution was relying upon. “Why terrorism-related sections were inserted in the case,” he asked.  

Speaking on the occasion, counsel for the Punjab government said that the suspects had attacked the ISI Camp.

Justice Mandokhel retorted, “It means that you don’t have any idea what terrorism is.”

Let me tell you, the judge went on to say, that what had happened at Army Public School, Peshawar and at Quetta courts were in fact incidents of terrorism. “How on earth could taking out a rally be called an act of terrorism?” he questioned.

Justice Mandokhel further said that the police were only after political activists, while no action was taken against those who were real terrorists.  

The IO said that the suspects had attacked government buildings and military installations in reaction to the arrest of their leader. “It was a conspiracy,” he said.

Justice Rizvi asked the officer whether the law enforcers had ever detected the conspiracy hatched by those who detonated bombs. “If you catch the real conspirators, then there will be no killings of Pakistan Army personnel at the hands of terrorists,” he remarked.   

The footages obtained from CCTV cameras are safe. “People even use their cellphones for filming scenes,” he added.

Punjab government’s lawyer said that one of the allegations against the suspects was that they also had petrol bombs and they even resorted to firing.

Justice Rizvi asked as to who could bring petrol bombs with him. “Certainly not from his home,” he added.

“What does the investigation say about it?” the judge asked.  

The lawyer informed the court that so far the investigators had failed to find out how these bombs ended up in the hands of protestors.

He told the court that there was another witness who was a constable at Special Branch in Lahore.

Justice Mandokhel expressed the surprise that the incident had taken place in Rawalpindi while the witness was from Lahore. “Is burning tyres a far bigger crime against the state?” he asked, adding, “Both the state and the government are like parents for a citizen.”

Even parents slapped their children, the judge went on to say, once or twice, they later again start treating them affectionately. “They don’t kill their kids,” he said, added, “Throwing everybody in jail is no solution.”

“The fact is that apart from a testimony by a cop, there is no other evidence which could prove the suspects guilty,” Justice Rizvi said.

The IO said that the police registered cases against the suspects before arresting them.

Justice Mandokhel questioned how the police could know the names before the registration of cases.  

Advocate Sardar Abdur Razzaq said that the petitioners were heading home after closing their shops that the police picked them up.

Justice Musarrat Halali said there was no mention of an attack on the ISI office in the FIR.

 

Reporter: Amanat Gishkori


News Desk


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