Lahore: ‘Accused’ cops cry for justice
LAHORE: Confined in Sahiwal Central Jail, seven police officials convicted for different criminal charges, have urged the high-ups to hear their appeals which are left pending with the court. The police officials are charged with multiple criminal offences, including 7ATA, and have been awarded two to seven years of rigorous imprisonment besides a fine of Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000. These police officials are Talat Ali, DSP, Moeen Hafeez Butt, DSP (now retired from service), Rana M Akram, inspector, Azhar Abbas Gill, inspector, Shafqat Kamboh, inspector, Rao Shafqat, sub inspector and Ghulam Mustafa, constable.
They were on duty during the days of suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. A complaint was lodged by Sahiwal District Bar Association president Sheikh Muhammad Usman before ATC Multan on May 11, 2007, accusing these police officials and the then DPO Javed Shah of torturing and setting those lawyers on fire who wanted to bring out a “peaceful rally to express their solidarity with the chief justice”.
The court conducted the “preliminary inquiry… the accused were formally charged sheet for the offences punishable u/s 148/ 149/ 452/ 324/ 336/ 109 of PPC and 4/5/6 of ESA, 1908 and 7 ATA, 1997. All the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed their trial…,” reads the order sheet.
The matter remained pending with ATC, Multan, and then was shifted to ATC, Faisalabad. The court announced its order on June 9, 2011, and acquitted the accused from the charges of throwing petrol on lawyers but convicted them in different charges.
DPO Javed Shah was, however, declared not guilty. The court informed the ‘convicts’ “they can file an appeal before the Lahore High Court within 7 days”.
The ‘convicts’ filed their appeals but the case has been delayed due to different reasons. The appellants have also filed their bail applications. Amjad Iqbal, brother of Shafqat Kamboh, told Daily Times that the appeals were not being heard despite the fact that under ATA, appeals should have been decided within seven days.