Lahore: SHO flees courtroom on being sentenced
LAHORE: Another feather was added to the cap of Punjab Police as SHO South Cantt Zafer Iqbal fled away from a courtroom after the judge awarded him six-month jail term for causing delay in an old murder trial, hampering the implementation of National Judicial policy.
The National Judicial Policy says “All criminal cases punishable with imprisonment from seven years and above including death cases shall be decided within one year.” The SHO was allegedly hindering progress of the case for the last five years by deliberately not producing prosecution witnesses and case property.
The News has learnt that in most cases, the police do not submit challan against the accused with in given period of 14 days, which ultimately delay the proceedings.
The News learnt that city courts issue an average 500 show-cause notices to police officials for non-compliance with the court orders during a judicial week. SSP (Investigation) Abul Razzaq Cheema told The News that the SHO’s escape was a shameful act and stern action would be taken against him including arrest as soon as possible. He said implementation of National Judicial Policy was not possible without coordination of the police and the department was being a backbone in the system in this aspect.
As per case details, a murder cum dacoity case is under trial with Additional District and Sessions Judge Abdul Jabbar Khan in which Faisal Latif, Aijaz Ali, Usman Butt, Shahbaz, Ali Raza and Fiaz are the nominated accused. The court has issued repeated notices to SHO to produce prosecution witnesses but to no avail. The court had also directed SHO to produce case property including a car used in dacoity and the murder weapon but he put a blind eye on the court orders.
Later, the court had served show-cause notices on the SHO directing police authorities concerned to make sure SHO’s presence in the court but he did not appear. On this contempt of the court proceedings were initiated. On Tuesday, the court awarded six months imprisonment to Zafer Iqbal. The SHO escaped allegedly with the connivance of his colleagues and lawyers present at the spot just after the court’s verdict.