Karachi: Acquitted man behind bars for over three months
KARACHI: A man acquitted by the Sindh High Court on Oct 29, 2007, in a cellphone robbery case, is still behind bars. Mohammad Siddique, son of Mohammad Fareed, was sentenced on June 5, 2006 by the district and sessions judge, South, to five-year imprisonment with a fine of Rs20,000 for his involvement in the cellphone snatching case.
The police had registered a case (FIR 56305) under Section 392 of the Pakistan Penal Code against the accused at the Preedy police station.
The prosecution said complainant Nabeel Butt with a friend of his went shopping on Oct 27, 2005. They were intercepted by two young men, one of them wielding a TT pistol, near United Bakery in Saddar and deprived of a cellphone. A police party patrolling the area arrived there. One man escaped while the other, identified as Mohammad Siddique, was arrested. Police seized the snatched mobile phone from him.
Defence counsel Shoaib-un-Nabi challenged the conviction in the Sindh High Court in October 2007.
Justice Yasmin Abbasey acquitted the accused on Oct 29, 2007 for lack of evidence as the prosecution had failed to prove the case against the accused.
The judgment read “The prosecution has not been able to prove its case, contradictions appearing in the statement of the complainant and the non-identification of case property through the police personnel, who at least can be said to be independent witnesses, creates doubt, the benefit of which goes to the appellant.”
The judge had ordered the release of Mohammad Siddique, if not required in any other custody matter. The defence counsel said there was no other case registered against his client.
The Central Jail Karachi authorities had informed the trial court through a letter that accused Mohammad Siddique was transferred to the Central Jail Haripur under the orders of the home department of Sindh on Feb 2, 2007, and that the Haripur jail superintendent had returned the release order of the convict sent to him on Nov 3, 2007 with the remarks that the seal and signatures of the court be verified by the trial court and the orders be sent to him through the home department of the NWFP.
Responding to the verification of the release order, the trial court through a letter notified the jail authorities that the accused was released by the court and the original release order was also attached with the letter.
The Sindh home department sent the verified release order to the NWFP home department on Jan 17, 2008. However, the department returned the order stating that it was not readable, the defence counsel said, adding that the relatives of the accused had also gone to Haripur and provided a copy of the order to the jail authorities, but Mohammad Siddique was not released.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.