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SC objects to judge’s attitude in rape case

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court described the attitude of an additional district and sessions judge of Rawalpindi in a rape case as unjustified.

The court observed that the matter of pre-arrest bail of the accused in the case should have been disposed of in accordance with the law.

The three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, Justices Chaudhry Ejaz Yousuf and Chaudhry Ejaz-ul-Hassan, after taking a suo-moto notice, is currently hearing the case involving the accusation by a woman named Rehana that a police officer and his companion had raped her.

The bench referred to a two-member police team, constituted by the Complaint Cell of the Punjab Chief Minister House, to conduct the inquiry and observed, “It is astonishing how the Chief Minister’s Complaint Cell figures in the matter and pass direction for investigation of the case.” It noted that the probe team had shown no progress.

It was pointed out by the bench that Additional Advocate General Punjab Qazi Amin had undertaken that he would depute a good law officer of the status of assistant advocate general to argue the case, fixed for Jan 13, before the judge.

The bench adjourned the hearing till Jan 15 and all the persons concerned along with the accused were directed to appear before the apex court then.

City Police Officer Rawalpindi Rao Mohammad Iqbal told the bench that the accused sub-inspector of Nasirabad Police Station, Natiq Shah, had been released on interim bail while the other accused, Abdul Qayyum, was behind bars. He said a departmental inquiry was being conducted while an FIR was lodged at Sadiqabad Police Station on September 13, 2008 under sections 276/109 PPC.

He said the accused officials were suspended and added that the investigation by the two-member team, set up by the Complaint Cell, was continuing.

Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar expressed his dismay over the progress and remarked that such things could not be tolerated. The officers were accused of committing an offence and the matter should be taken seriously, he observed.

Attorney General Sardar Latif Khan Khosa said it is astonishing that the matter of bail was adjourned 10 times by the additional district and sessions judge concerned.

He objected strongly to the inquiry team set up by the Complaint Cell of Punjab Chief Minister House, adding that when the investigation was already completed, the team had no jurisdiction to conduct another inquiry.

Investigation Officer Nasim Sadiq confirmed that the investigation had already been completed.

The bench had called a report from the RPO on the complaint of Rehana, who accused police officer Natiq Shah and his companion Abdul Qayyum of forcibly taking her to a house on the pretext of investigation and raping her.

She complained that her injured husband, Abdul Karim, had been implicated in a criminal case.
Source: The News
Date:1/8/2009

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