3 jailed for life in kidnapping for ransom case
KARACHI: According to the Dawn News on Friday, an anti-terrorism court on Thursday sentenced three men to life in prison and confiscation of their property worth Rs200,000 in a kidnapping for ransom case. The court found Mohammad Saleem Chandio, Waheed Kalhoro and Niaz Hussain Chandio guilty of abducting Mohammad Junaid from Cattle Colony and demanding ransom for his safe release. Judge Syed Hasan Shah Bukhari of the ATC-I, who pronounced the judgment, also recommended the removal of investigation officers from service for conducting defective investigation.
The court, in its verdict, observed that the prosecution proved its case against the accused beyond a shadow of a doubt. It said that the accused took different defence pleas, but no such documentary proof has been adduced in support of their versions. It added that there was no enmity suggested between the accused persons and prosecution witnesses and no motive was suggested to witnesses for falsely implicating the accused. The evidence of captive was natural and the entire case could be based upon his testimony, the judgment concluded. The judge also observed that the investigation officers committed negligence and carelessness during the investigation of the case by deliberately avoiding arrest of the absconding accused and placing them in column two of charge-sheet with blue ink without any justification. The judge said that he strongly condemned the attitude of investigation officers – Inspector Mohammad Babar and Mohammad Ameer Gondal – and recommended their removal from service.
Earlier, in the final arguments, special public prosecutor Mohammad Khan Buriro contented that the prosecution examined nine witnesses and all of them had fully implicated the accused. He said the complainant also rightly picked up all accused during identification parade conducted by a judicial magistrate and assigned them their roles in the commissioning of offence. The defence lawyers argued that there were glaring contradictions in the evidence of witnesses besides a delay of five days in the registration of the FIR. The counsel also said that the identification parade was not conducted in accordance with the law. According to the prosecution, the accused had kidnapped Junaid on Aug 19, 2008 from Cattle Colony when he along with his father was on his way to Malir. The kidnappers demanded Rs10 million for the safe release of captive. Later, the ransom amount was reduced to Rs2.7 million and the suspects released the victim on Oct 21, 2008 near New Sabzi Mandi after collecting the money, it added. The Anti-Violence Crime Cell arrested the suspects within the remit of the Sukkhan police station. A case (FIR 215/2008) was registered under Sections 365-A and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7(e) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Sukhan police station. The accused were produced in custody on Thursday and the court extended them the benefit of Section 382-B (period of detention to be considered while awarding sentence of imprisonment) of the criminal procedure code and remanded them back to prison along with conviction warrants to serve out the remainder of their sentence.