Karachi: Suicide attack case: Rangers yet to produce suspect in ATC
KARACHI: A police inspector in the custody of Pakistan Rangers for the past four days has yet to be produced before a court of law in a case pertaining to a suicide attack on a superintendent of police, sources in the paramilitary force told Dawn on Monday. The sources added that Inspector Azam Mehsud was picked up near Yousuf Plaza on Aug 30. The inspector, his brother and other suspects were booked in a case (FIR No 48/2012) in connection with the suicide attack on SP Rao Anwar Ahmed Khan in Malir on April 6. While the SP escaped unhurt, at least four passersby were killed and 17 others injured in the attack. All the arresting/investigating agencies, including police, were legally bound to produce a suspect in a court of law within 24 hours of his arrest, legal experts said, adding that the detention after the prescribed period would be illegal and unconstitutional.
The Rangers must hand over suspects to police so that they were produced in a court of law, they said. Any delay in this regard or illegal detention on part of any arresting/investigating agencies could damage the case of prosecution, they emphasised.
According to Section 61 (person arrested not be detained more than twenty-four hours) of the criminal procedure code, no police officer shall detain in custody a person arrested without warrant for a longer period than under all the circumstances of the case is reasonable, and such period shall not, in the absence of a special order of a magistrate under Section 167, exceed twenty-four hours exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the magistrate’s court.
Similarly, Section 167 of the CrPC states: “…whenever any person is arrested and detained in custody, and it appears that the investigation cannot be completed within the period of twenty-four hours fixed by section 61, and there are grounds for believing that the accusation or information is well-founded, the officer in charge of the police station or the police officer making the investigation, if he is not below the rank of sub-inspector, shall forthwith transmit to the (nearest magistrate) a copy of the entries in the diary hereinafter prescribed relating to the case, and shall at the same time forward the accused to such magistrate.”
Police were supposed to produce the suspect before the Anti–Terrorism Court-I for remand.
However, public prosecutor of ATC-I Abdul Maroof confirmed to Dawn that the suspect had not been produced before the court till Monday evening.
According to the prosecution, SP Rao Anwar was passing through Malir Halt on his way to the district courts in Malir in a convoy of vehicles to attend a meeting on April 6 when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the intersection of Jinnah Avenue and Sharea Faisal. At least four passersby were killed and 17 others injured in the attack.
On a complaint of the SP, the case was lodged at the Model Colony police station under Sections 302 (punishment for premeditated murder), 324 (attempt to commit murder), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 120 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment) and 4 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 3/4 of the Explosive Substance Act read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
A duty officer of the Model Colony police station said that the Rangers had not handed over the suspect to them. The Rangers spokesman was not available for comment.