Islamabad: Release of car theft accused: LHC summons police officers
ISLAMABAD: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday summoned three police officers to explain release of an accused in a car theft case from the lock-up, apparently on the orders of Inspector General Police (IGP) Punjab.
Hearing the petition of Rana Zulqarnain Ali against IGP Punjab and others, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik of LHC, Rawalpindi bench, directed Superintendent Police (Potohar) Rawalpindi Haroon Joiya, DSP Wah Cantt Raja Taifur and SHO Wah Cantt Chaudhry Zulfikar to appear in person before the court today.
The petitioner said senior police officers supported the accused, releasing him after he assured to return the car. He pointed out that the man had been nominated as main accused in the FIR. Barrister Afzal Hussain, representing Mr Ali, maintained that from mere reading of the FIR, a cognisable offence is made out and attracts section 381A of Pakistan Penal Code â€“ punishable by maximum seven years jail and fine “not exceeding the value of the stolen car”.
He pleaded that the offence was not “bailable and compoundable” but the accused was released on the verbal orders of senior police officials. The counsel added the doctrine of equality before the law is pillar of the constitution, but the police officials acted in a “capricious and arbitrary” manner.
The petition said the suspected car thief is said to be son-in-law of a former IGP. He was arrested on July 13 and put in the lock-up, but had to be released after intervention of the City Police Officer Rawalpindi.
The petitioner`s car was stolen from Wah Model Town where he had gone to purchase pet dogs.
In his FIR, the petitioner said Taimoor Malik, Qasir Hafeez, Mohammad Mansoor and Zafar Iqbal were involved in stealing his car. After efforts for more than two days, the petitioner had managed to get FIR registered.
Five days later, according to the petition, police arrested Taimoor, nominated him in the FIR and locked him up. But it said the accused got the facility of cellphone inside the police lock-up and informed his family, which contacted the former IGP, who sought the help of the incumbent. The petition said on the verbal orders of IGP, the accused was released.