PHC acquits three in kidnapping case
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Thursday acquitted three persons earlier convicted in a kidnapping for ransom case by an anti-terrorism court (ATC).
A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Waqar Ahamd Seth allowed a criminal appeal filed by the convicts, Mohammad Shah, Nazeer and Shaukat.
The ATC had convicted the appellants on June 15 and sentenced them to life imprisonment besides ordering confiscation of their properties.
The local police had charged them of kidnapping one Rasheed Khan, a resident of Sherkara area. The police claimed to have recovered Rasheed from a hujra and arrested one of the appellants, Shaukat, on the spot, whereas the other two appellants were arrested later.
Advocate Shan Asghar appeared for the appellants and contended that Rasheed, who was also complainant in the case, had not deposed against any of the appellants before the trial court.
He stated that while the police claimed to have arrested Shaukat from the spot the complainant deposed before the trial court that the arrest of Shaukat was not in his knowledge.
About the other two appellants, the counsel argued that there was no evidence against them. He added that one of them, Nazeer, had appeared in matriculation examinations.
REFERENCE: A two-member PHC bench directed the National Accountability Bureau (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) to file a reference against an imprisoned project director of Mansehra Development Authority (MDA) within 15 days, failing which he would be set free on bail.
The bench comprising Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Malik Azmatullah expressed annoyance over continuous detention of the official without filing of the reference for the last six months.
Earlier, the bail petition of the official, Asad Ali Shah, was dismissed, as the concerned NAB prosecutor had stated that the reference against him would be filed before the accountability court within a few days.
Advocate Ishtiaq Ibrahim appeared for the petitioner and contended that he was arrested on March 5 and so far no reference had been filed against him.
The petitioner was arrested along with three other officials of MDA, including a housing officer Mazhar Hussain, inspector Mohammad Saeed and assistant director finance Sajjad Ahmad, on the charges of illegal allotment of plots, shops and model houses and accumulation of assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.