Naqeeb’s father expresses mistrust over ATC judge, demands transfer of case

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Father of Naqeebullah Mehsud, killed by suspended police officer Rao Anwar in a staged encounter earlier this year in January, on Monday submitted an application expressing no-confidence in the Anti Terrorism Court Judge Khalida Yasmeen who on last hearing had granted bail to the officer notorious for killing innocent persons in fake encounters.

Muhammad Khan Mehsud, father of Naqeeb Mehsud – real name Nasimullah Mehsud – submitted that the case of his son should be transferred to another court as he has lost confidence in the ability of ATC judge.

He and his lawyer boycotted the proceedings of ATC court and submitted application, complaining the ATC judge was giving undue favor to the guilty police officer.

The application stated that the judge repeatedly failed to take action against the undue favors granted to Anwar, who the only accused in the case was brought to court with full protocol and without handcuffs and a prisoner’s uniform.

The application also states that the judge failed to act against the investigating officer in the case when he failed to submit his reports in the case on time.

“We are also very disappointed as it seems that there appears to be collusion between the prosecution and defence because despite our transfer application and despite opposition of his fellow prosecutors, one of the prosecutors proceeded with the bail application,” the lawyer later said in a statement issued to the media.

On last Tuesday, An Anti terrorism Court in Karachi had granted bail to RaoAnwar, the suspended police officer being accused of killing aspiring model, Nasimullah Mehsud alias Naqeebullah Mehsud in fake encounter earlier in January.

Lawyer of Mehsud, Faisal Siddiqui Advocate, announced that family of Naqeeb will challenge the ATC judgment in Sindh High Court (SHC) as it was not on the merit.

On the outset of proceeding the judge announced reserved judgment and granted bail to Rao Anwar against the surety of RS1million. Lawyer of Anwar, Amir Marghob, told the judge that Rao was not present when the encounter occurred.

Speaking to media outside the court, Rao said that officers never go on encounters but announce and as such he announced the killing of encounters for which IG Sindh AD Khowaja had also announce reward money for the police party.

Anwar and his subordinates were under trial over the extrajudicial killing of a 27-year-old shopkeeper and aspiring model, Naqeebullah Mehsud, and three others in a fake encounter.

Last month Anti-terrorism Court had deferred to hand down judgment to declare house of Rao Anwar, a suspended police officer arrested in Naqeeb Mehsud Case, as sub-jail.

Naqeebullah Mehsud, a 27-year-old aspiring model from Waziristan, was among four who were murdered by former SSP Malir Rao Anwar in staged encounter in January this year.

Meanwhile, the prosecution lawyer told court that witnesses in the Naqeebullah Mehsud killing case had been receiving threats.

Advocate Salahuddin Panhwar made the revelation on the outset of proceedings as the court was deliberating over a bail application for the suspended SSP Malir and his 11 detained subordinates.

Panhwar had asked the ATC judge how justice could be served in such an environment when witnesses are being threatened. Despite the prosecution lawyer’s earlier objections, Anwar was produced in court amid protocol and without handcuffs.

The court subsequently deferred arguments on the request for bail from the defending counsel until June 9.

The prosecution lawyer, while speaking to reporters after the hearing said that the court should ensure security for witnesses.

A verdict on two applications moved by Anwar ─ one challenging the court’s decision to declare Malir Cantonment’s Multan Lines area as a sub-jail, and the other seeking provision of better facilities during detention ─ was to be announced on Wednesday.

However, the ATC judge deferred the decision until the next hearing of the case.

The court also deferred the verdict on declaring Anwar as a B-class prisoner in the court.  The hearing was then adjourned till June 9.

Last week, Father of Naqeeb Mehsud had filed petition in Sindh High Court (SHC), challenging the declaration of residence of Rao Anwar as sub-jail for the suspended police officer.

Muhammad Khan Son of Mama Asal, father of Naqeeb Mehsud has made Sindh Governor, Police Chief, IG prison, superintendent central prison and the accusedAnwar Ahmed Khan alias Rao Anwar Son of Nisar Ahmed Khan as respondent in the petition.

Son of the Petitioner, alongwith three other persons were murdered in a fake police encounter on 13-01-2018, allegedly by Rao Anwar and his subordinate police officers, reads the petition, submitting that FIR No.40/2018 (PS Sachal Malir District) was registered by the Petitioner against the Respondent No.5 and his subordinate police officers regarding the aforementioned murder.

According to the applicant the accused Rao Anwar defied even the Orders of the Supreme Court in Human Rights Case No.1949-K of 2018 and absconded. Rao and his subordinate police officers have been accused of having engaged in 444 encounter killings over the last seven years.

Moreover, there is clear evidence that Rao is a thoroughly corrupt police officer, who has acquired assets beyond his known means and has engaged in money laundering. In this regard, a complaint by the Petitioner has been sent to the National Accountability Bureau.

Trial Court was informed nor was any document produced before the Court to show that the Rao was not being sent to the Central Jail but was being remanded to his own house, which had allegedly been declared as a sub-jail.

“Till today no document like the Impugned Notification has been produced before the Trial Court to show that his own house has been declared as a sub-jail where he is comfortably residing. The Order dated: 21-04-2018 of the Trial Court is explicit in its direction that the Respondent No.5 is to be remanded to the jail and as a consequence, he could not be kept in any custody or detention premises other than in a jail,” according to the petitioner.

 Such favoritism in favor of Rao is clearly malafide. The same logic of serious threats to life would also apply to the other 11 accused persons in the abovementioned same special case but they are detained in the Central Jail. “ How can they be safe in the Central Jail being his subordinate police officers in the same abovementioned Special case if he is not safe?,” he said asked.

“It’s most respectfully and most humbly prayed that this Honorable Court may graciously pass judgment and orders against Rao, declaring the Impugned Notification No.SO (PRS-I) HD/II-174/2015, dated: 21-04-2018 [A nn ex ‘A ’ ], issued by the Respondent No.1, and any subsequent orders/letters issued on the basis of the Impugned Notification, is unconstitutional, without jurisdiction, malafide and of no legal effect,” the petitioner has prayed.

Posted in