Peshawar: 4 officials acquitted in graft case
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Thursday acquitted four police and customs officials including a district police officer (DPO) who were convicted by an accountability court in a bribery case.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Miftauddin Khan allowed appeals filed by the four convicts — Dera Ismail Khan DPO Dilawar Bangash, superintendent of customs Shahnawaz Khan, police inspector Munawar Khan and customs inspector Rahmat Shah — observing that the evidence on record did not prove the charges against the appellants.
An accountability court had on Feb 23, 2011, convicted the four officials and sentenced them to seven years rigorous imprisonment with fine of Rs2 million each.
The bench observed that the investigation in the case was faulty and some important witnesses had not been produced. It was further observed that the NAB could not develop any linkage between the appellant and the smugglers.
The National Accountability Bureau (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.
The NAB alleged that later on Dilawar Bangash demanded and obtained Rs2 million from the associates of the said smuggler for showing less quantity of confiscated cloth and accordingly tampered the police record including the recovery memo, seizure memo, etc.
A panel of lawyers including Barrister Waseem Sajjad, Qazi Muhammad Anwer, Khwaja Mohammad Gara, Pir Liaqat and others appeared for the appellants and contended that they were falsely implicated in the case.
Barrister Waseem Sajjad, who represented Dilawar Bangash, contended that Malangae was an influential smuggler and prior to this occurrence nobody had dared to stop his consignment. He argued that it was a unique intervention by Dilawar Bangash which created heartburn among other officials.
Mr Sajjad pointed out that initially the inquiry was started by the NAB about how five trucks loaded with smuggled cloths crossed over from tribal area and passed through the jurisdiction of different police stations and reached the GT Road.