Death of couple: court accepts request for probe transfer
KARACHI, Sept 26: Directing a senior superintendent of police (SSP) investigations to reassign duties, the additional district and sessions judge-4, Central, Gulshan Ara Chandio, on Wednesday transferred the inquiry into the deaths of Haji Mohammed Azeem Shaikh and his bride Beenish, whose bodies were discovered on Aug 11, the morning after their wedding.
On September 20, the deceased groom’s father, Abdul Majeed Shaikh, had filed an application in this regard. The court transferred the case’s investigation from investigation officer (IO) Mohammed Ashraf of the Taimuria police station and the SSP was directed to assign the duties to a senior, competent and responsible police officer who would conduct prompt inquiries.
The court also directed the SSP to ensure the submission of the case’s charge-sheet in court within seven days of the order. The relevant FIR No. 391/07 was registered at the Taimuria police station under Section 302/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The order followed an application under Section 22-A(6)(iii)/(iv) of the Criminal Procedures Code, submitted to the court of district and sessions judge, Central, Abdul Maalik, by advocate Shaikh Javaid Mir on behalf of Abdul Majeed Shaikh. The provincial police officer, the additional inspector general of police (investigations), the capital police officer and the state were named as respondents.
The application requested the transfer of the case’s investigation to any other zone, citing the applicant’s lack of confidence in IO Ashraf of the Taimuria police station.
Mr Majeed stated that the case investigation was assigned to IO sub-inspector Ashraf, while TPO Naeem Shaikh of North Nazimabad, DSP Farooq of the Taimuria police station, DSP Ejaz Hashmi of the Azizabad police station and DSP Khalid of the Industrial Area police station supervised it. The investigation was monitored by DIG (investigations) Falak Khurshid.
According to Mr Majeed’s statement, the police repeatedly called him to different police stations and subjected him to severe torture at the Taimuria and Gulberg police stations.
The bereaved father claimed that in addition to beating him, the police blindfolded him, took him to undisclosed locations during the interrogations and warned him against naming Abdul Samad and Abdul Ghayur as the accused in the case.
Mr Majeed stated that the IO was biased and attempting to hush up the investigation.
Advocate Mir argued that the police were bound under Section 173 of the Criminal Procedures Code to submit investigation details with 17 days, but the charge-sheet had not been produced in court despite the passage of a month and a half. This, he said, exposed the mala fide intentions of the IO, the DIG concerned and other police officials.
The court observed that notice of this petition was given to the respondents and their comments were sought. In his reply, the additional inspector general of the police, Sindh, submitted that the matter did not pertain to him and was under the investigation of the capital city police officer (CCPO).
In a reply submitted to the court through a DSP, the CCPO denies the allegations and stated that the applicant was himself one of the prime suspects in the case. He assured the court that the investigation would be conducted in an impartial manner.
After hearing the arguments of the counsel for the applicant, SIO Taimuria police station Mohammed Ishaq and IO Mohammed Ashraf, the court commented that it was a matter of record that the police had not submitted challan though 35 days had elapsed since the registration of the FIR. According to the court order, the IO had admitted that a tissue paper stained with blood, handed over to him by Azeem’s family, remained in his custody and was yet to be sent for chemical examination.
Members of the deceased groom’s family also appeared in court. Complaining against the police, they told reporters that they felt threatened and repeatedly named Abdul Ghayoor and Abdul Samad as the accused.