Peshawar: DPO, others denied bail in graft case
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday denied bail to four police and customs officials, including a district police officer (DPO), who were recently convicted by an accountability court on charges of receiving bribe from a notorious smuggler.
A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel dismissed writ petitions filed by the four convicts and observed that the appeals against their convictions would be fixed on an early date.
The petitioners — Dera Ismail Khan DPO Dilawar Bangash, customs superintendent Shahnawaz Khan, police inspector Munawar Khan and customs inspector Rahmat Shah — were convicted by an accountability court on Feb 23 and were sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs2 million each.
The deputy prosecutor general, Jamal Khattak, appeared for the National Accountability Bureau, whereas some senior lawyers including Barrister Waseem Sajjad, Qazi Mohammad Anwer, Khwaja Mohammad Gara and Mohammad Jamil Khan represented the petitioners.
The NAB (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) had alleged that on May 24, 2004, Dilawar Bangash serving as superintendent of police at CID (Crimes Investigation Department), along with inspector Munawar Khan had recovered huge quantity of smuggled cloth and arrested a notorious smuggler, Mohammad Tahir alias Malangae, and his 11 companions after an encounter during which another smuggler Nisar Khan was killed.
The NAB alleged that later Dilawar Bangash demanded and obtained Rs2 million from the associates of the said smuggler for showing less quantity of confiscated cloth and accordingly tampered with the police record including the recovery memo, seizure memo, etc.
The two customs officials had also connived with the police officers. At the time of occurrence, inspector Rahmat Shah was in charge of customs warehouse, whereas supervisor Shahnawaz Khan was custodian of the warehouse.
Jamal Khattak contended that the raiding police team had seized 267,000 yards of cloth from the smugglers but after receiving bribe they showed the recovery as 134,000 yards. He added that the two police officials in connivance with the customs officials collectively concealed around 133,000 yards of foreign-made cloth worth Rs4.75 million, beside duty/taxes to the tune of Rs2.488 million.
The petitioners’ counsel contended that the trial court had convicted the petitioners on the statements given by accused criminals arrested by the police. They posed a question that why the petitioners arrested the smugglers and seized the smuggled cloth if they had to receive bribe from them?