By Ishaq Tanoli
KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court dismissed on Wednesday an application filed against a female kidnap suspect who had turned approver in two cases.
The application was moved by one of the complainants in the two kidnap cases.
He prayed to the court not to treat the female suspect, Laiba, as an approver since the prosecution and the complainants opposed her plea.
Four suspects — Salman Qureshi, Imran Ahsan alias Sunny, Laiba and Zubair — are facing trial in two separate cases of kidnapping.
According to the prosecution, they kidnapped 14-year-old Talha Siddiqui and Khurram Javed for ransom in the limits of the Gulshan-i-Iqbal and Sharea Faisal police stations in 2008.
However, suspect Laiba turned approver after the court allowed her application filed under Section 338 (power to grant or tender of pardon) of the criminal procedure code. The prosecution had opposed the plea.
The counsel for one of the complainants, Nasir Mahmood, filed an application in court praying not to treat suspect Laiba as an approver since the prosecution and the complainant parties opposed it.
He maintained that an approver could only be made when the prosecution lacked evidence. However, there was sufficient evidence against the suspects in this case, he added. He concluded that though the suspect was made an approver in two cases, she recorded only one statement under Section 164 of the criminal procedure code, which was unlawful. However, the approver’s counsel, Mohammad Farooq, argued that the counsel for the complainant was not entitled to move such an application.
Dismissing the application, Judge Abdul Ghafoor Memon of ATC-II adjourned further hearing in the two cases till May 26.
According to the prosecution, the suspects kidnapped Talha Siddiqui on Nov 2, 2008 in Gulshan-i-Iqbal and demanded a ransom of Rs25 million for his release. However, the police conducted a raid in the remit of the Gulistan-i-Jauhar police station and arrested the suspects on Nov 4, 2008 and recovered the victim. A case was lodged under section 365-A of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the victim’s father.
In the second case, the suspects kidnapped Khurram Javed on Oct 10, 2008 in the territorial jurisdiction of the Sharea Faisal police station. They released the victim after collecting a ransom of Rs1 million.
A case under Section 365-A of the Pakistan Penal Code was registered on the complaint of Noor Javed at the Sharea Faisal police station.
Defence witness testifies
Judge Syed Hasan Shah Bukhari of ATC-I recorded the statement of a defence witness in a kidnap case.
Adnan Ahmed Khan and Naila have been charged with kidnapping an eight-year-old boy, Arsalan, for ransom on August 13, 2008 in the remit of the Sachal police station.
The defence witness, Zafar-ul-Islam, testified that accused Adnan was his brother and he was innocent as the police arrested him on Aug 15, 2008 at their house.
The hearing was adjourned till May 26 when the counsel for the accused would examine more witnesses in the defence of his clients.
The prosecution said that the accused demanded a ransom of Rs1million for the safe release of the victim. Later, the matter was reported to the police and a team of the Anti-Violent Crime Cell traced the kidnappers’ whereabouts and raided a house on Sept 15, 2008 in the Gulzar-i-Hijri area and arrested the couple. The police also recovered the abducted child from their custody, it added.