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ATC allows plea to add abetment charge in Intizar murder case

KARACHI: An antiterrorism court on Wednesday allowed an application pleading to charge with abetment eight former officials of the Anti-Car Lifting Cell in a case pertaining to the murder of a teenager in an alleged “staged” encounter last year.

Eight ACLC officials, including then SHO Tariq Mehmood, then inspectors Azhar Ahsan and Tariq Raheem, then head constable Shahid and then constables Ghulam Abbas, Fawad Khan, Mohammad Daniyal and Bilal Rasheed, have been charged with killing 19-year-old student Intizar Ahmed on the night of Jan 13 in Defence Housing Authority.

On Wednesday, the ATC-XIII judge, who is conducting the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, allowed an application jointly moved by assistant prosecutor general Ghulam Murtaza Metlo and the complainant’s counsel Salahuddin Panhwar.

Eight police officials charged in case

In the application filed under Section 277 of the Criminal Procedure Code read with Section 32 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, they contended that the charge of premeditated murder, common intention and terrorism had already been framed against all the accused on May 14.

They further contended that former police constables Bilal Rasheed and Daniyal had opened fire on the victim, but the co-accused had neither stopped them from killing the youth, nor arrested them on the spot or made any recovery from the place of the incident.

These acts amount to abetment, they argued and pleaded to alter the previously framed charges against the accused by also indicting them all with the charge of abetment under Sections 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment), 111 (liability of abettor when one act abetted and different act done) and 113 (liability of abettor for an effect caused by the act abetted different from that intended by the abettor) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

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On the contrary, the defence counsel for the undertrial policemen opposed the plea arguing that the charge had already been framed against their clients in May last year, therefore, the application to alter the same had been filed with an intention to make the matter linger on. They pleaded to dismiss the plea.

After hearing arguments from both sides and examining the material available on record, the judge wrote in his order that it appeared that the presence of all the accused at the place of incident was not denied.

He further said that the record showed that the accused were in private vehicle and in civil dress, while according to them they were performing official duties. Moreover, the judge said it had also come on record that after the alleged incident they slipped away from the place of the incident without informing their superior officer about it.

The judge observed that when the matter was flashed in the media, then they prepared certain documents and according to the defence counsel at initial stage Inspector Tariq Mehmood sent the statement under Section 154 of the CrPC to the police station concerned for incorporating the same in the Section 154 book, but the duty officer intentionally made an entry in the roznamcha (daily diary).

The judge noted that the record showed that all accused denied that the co-accused police constables Bilal Rasheed and Daniyal were members of the police party. If it is presumed to be correct, then why they (did) not forbid them from firing on the innocent boy, neither had they apprehended them at the spot nor was any recovery affected from them at the spot though senior police officials were in commanding position, the judge noted.

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“The execution of whole episode in manner as discussed above suggests active participation of the accused in the alleged offence,” the judge observed and concluded that “they facilitated the co-accused in the commission of the offence”.

The judge ruled that under Section 277 of the CrPC the change could be altered or added at any time before the judgment was pronounced.

The court overruled the objection raised by the defence counsel for the accused regarding delays in filing of the present application by the complainant’s counsel and the state prosecutor to alter the charge, observing that such contention was no ground for refusal of the application, if the case for the alteration was made out.

The judge allowed the application with directions to alter the charge already framed with Section 109 and 113 of the PPC.

Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2019

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