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SC displeased with judge for issuing bail in rape case

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday expressed displeasure over the attitude of a Rawalpindi additional sessions judge, who granted a pre-arrest interim bail to a police official accused in a rape case and adjourned the bail for nine times.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, Justice Ejaz ul Hassan and Justice Chaudhry Ejaz Yousuf expressed displeasure while hearing a suo motu case initiated on news reports stating that Rehana Bibi was gang raped by two police officers of Nasirabad Rawalpindi police post, sub-inspectors Abdul Qayyum and Natiq Shah.

Rawalpindi Regional Police Officer (RPO) Rao Iqbal, who appeared before the SC on notice, presented a report of the incident and informed the court that alleged dacoit Anwar Khan, who is the husband of Rehana, was injured in a cross firing with some residents of Westridge and his accomplice Abdul Shakoor was killed. The RPO said that Rehana shifted Anwar to a safe place when he was injured. However, later Anwar was arrested by the police. Iqbal told the court that Rehana lodged a complaint after 23 days of her husband’s arrest, stating that two police officials had raped her. The RPO said that the investigation carried out by DSP Khalid Paracha found sub inspectors Natiq Shah and Abdul Qayyum guilty. He said that Qayyum had been arrested, whereas Natiq was on an interim bail. The court was surprised to hear that the pre-arrest interim bail of Natiq was adjourned nine times by the concerned additional session’s judge. The chief justice said that the decision of the additional session’s judge was unjustifiable.

Iqbal said that the sub inspector had filed an application to Punjab Chief Minister Complaint Cell, stating that the inquiry against him was conducted by a biased officer. The RPO said that he had constituted a committee to probe into the matter. “It is astonishing how the Punjab Chief Minister Compliant Cell figures in this matter,” the chief justice said. Attorney General Sardar Latif Khosa said that it was astonishing that the pre-arrest bail of the accused was adjourned nine times. He requested the court to ensure that the bail of the accused was cancelled. Punjab Additional Advocate General Qazi Amin undertook to depute an assistant advocate general to argue the case before the Rawalpindi additional sessions judge on January 13. However, the court adjourned the hearing till January 15 and directed all the officers to appear before it along with the accused.
Source: Daily Times
Date:1/7/2009

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