KARACHI: An antiterrorism court has summoned an investigating officer and a prosecutor to hear their arguments after the prosecution identified defects in the investigation report in a case pertaining to the murder of 10-year-old Amal Umer during an alleged police encounter with suspected robbers.
The police claimed in the investigation report that one of the suspected robbers was also killed in the encounter, but the prosecutor in his scrutiny note had cast doubts on the alleged shoot-out and questioned why the offence of murder was not invoked in the charge sheet.
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The ATC-VIII judge, who is hearing the matter in the judicial complex inside the central prison, summoned the investigating officer and the assistant deputy prosecutor on Nov 2.
On Tuesday, the police investigating officer had submitted a charge sheet against a private suspect before the administrative judge but the prosecution pointed out loopholes in the investigation report since it was silent about the police party, which had taken part in the alleged shoot-out.
Amal Umer, who was travelling along with her parents in their car, died after she was hit by a bullet fired by a policeman in a Defence locality on Aug 13 during the alleged shoot-out.
The police claimed to have arrested Khalid on Sept 24 in some other cases pertaining to robbery and illicit weapons and claimed that during questioning the suspect disclosed his involvement in the murder of the girl and also robbing her parents and others.
Investigating Officer Imdad Ali Khawaja named Khalid as an accused in the charge sheet and said his accomplice Shahzad had already been killed.
The IO did not name any member of the police party as accused and placed Sections 397 (robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the ATA in the charge sheet.
However, after scrutinising the investigation report, special public prosecutor Gul Mohammad Farooqui in his note had observed that besides the present case, the police had lodged two more cases of the same incident, including an FIR of unintentional murder of Amal Umer, against two policemen and another case against the detained suspect Khalid for the offences of attempted murder and deterring police from discharging their duty.
The scrutiny note said that there should not be more than one FIR of the same incident according to a Supreme Court judgement.
Surprisingly, police have not invoked Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the PPC in any of the FIRs, it added.
Mr Farooqui further maintained in his scrutiny note that the post-mortem report of Shahzad reflected that he might have been shot from a very close range which cast doubts about the shoot-out.
On Aug 18, the deputy inspector general of police (South) had conceded that the 10-year-old girl was fatally shot by the gunfire of Constable Babar Shahzad during the shoot-out.
Two indicted in advocate’s murder case
An antiterrorism court on Friday indicted two detained accused in a case pertaining to the murder of Advocate Naimat Ali Randhawa.
The detained accused, Syed Kazim Abbas Rizvi and Noman, along with their three absconding accomplices have been charged with killing Randhawa in 2013.
Randhawa was a leader of PML-N’s legal wing in Sindh and counsel for the complainant in reporter Wali Khan Babar’s murder case.
On Friday, the matter was fixed before the ATC-XVI judge for framing amended charge against the detained men.
The judge read out the charges of murder and terrorism.
The accused pleaded not guilty and opted to contest.
The court summoned the investigating officer and the witnesses to record their statements and fixed the matter for Oct 22.
The court also recorded the statement of an eyewitness in the case.
Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2018