Peshawar: Prison dentist gets bail in undertrials’ escape case
PESHAWAR: A single-member Peshawar High Court bench on Monday granted bail to a dentist arrested on the charge of helping two undertrial militants escape from police custody. Nadeem Abbas and Zakeem Shah fled after a group of militants shot dead three policemen, who had taken them to a local hospital for treatment last year. Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan accepted Dr Mohammad Iftikhar’s bail plea asking him to furnish two sureties of Rs500,000 each. He, at the same time, directed the government not to post the dentist to any important post, including the Peshawar Central Prison. The chief justice said the dentist should be posted to any backward area of Chitral district, especially Kalash Valley or GaramChashma and that the government should produce the posting orders within 15 days.
Dr Iftikhar posted to the Peshawar Central Prison as dentist is accused of referring the two undertrial militants to Khyber College of Dentistry (KCD) on Aug 12, 2011.
The two belonging to Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, DaraAdamkhel, fled from police custody after a group of militants fired gunshots at the personnel escorting them to KCD.
Three of four policemen died on the spot, while the fourth one, Ilyas Khan, remained unhurt. He was later taken into custody on suspicion.
The petitioner had earlier field a pre–arrest bail petition before the anti–terrorism court but withdrew it following which he was taken into custody by the local police in July this year.
Senior lawyers Khwaja Mohammad Gara, Abdul LateefAfridi and Ishtiaq Ibrahim appeared for the petitioner and said their client had nothing to do with the escape of the undertrials as he was not responsible for their security.
They said the petitioner was a dentist and had referred the two to hospital as treatment was not available inside the prison.
The lawyers said the government had already withdrawn three annual increments of the petitioner in light of recommendations given by an inquiry committee.
During the hearing, the chief justice, who recently visited Chitral to inaugurate circuit bench, observed that employees of most government departments in the district had not been performing their duties and had been receiving salary while staying home. He observed that the situation in different departments, especially hospitals and schools, was alarming in the district but the government had turned a blind eye towards it.
Justice Dost Mohammad said Chitral was full of natural resources but kept backward by the successive governments. He said the district had plenty of flowing water and therefore, several hydropower stations could be constructed there but no attention had been given to the sector.
The chief justice observed that the court didn’t want to get itself involved in matters, for which the government was responsible, but if the situation remained the same, then the court would begin proceeding against negligent government employees in Chitral.