KARACHI, Feb 29: A sessions court acquitted on Wednesday Arshad Pappu in a kidnapping and murder case for want of evidence.

It appears that this was the last case pending trial against Arshad, said to be the chief of one of the several criminal gangs operating in Lyari.

The accused along with his accomplices was charged with kidnapping and killing Faiz Mohammad alias Mama Fazua in January 2003 within the remit of the Chakiwara police station.

The accused, through his lawyer Javed Mir, moved an acquittal application under Section 265-K (power of court to acquit accused at any stage) of the criminal procedure code in court.

Judge Javed Ahmed Keerio, who was conducting the trial in the judicial complex inside the Karachi central prison, allowed the plea after hearing both sides.

The court ruled that the prosecution had failed to bring on record any solid evidence to connect the applicant with the alleged offence.

Earlier, in his arguments, the defence counsel contended that despite the passage of many years the prosecution was unable to produce any witness against the accused, adding that one of the co-accused had already been acquitted while the case of the applicant was also on the same footing and pleaded for acquittal.

However, the prosecutor argued against the plea and maintained that such applications should not be entertained in the absence of the accused.

A case (FIR 10/2003) was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 364 (kidnapping in order to murder), 109 (abetment) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on a complaint of the deceased’s son at the Chakiwara police station.

The court had granted bail to the accused in this case in May last year.

According to the defence counsel, his client was booked in around 60 cases at different police stations in Karachi, but he was never convicted and this was the last case in which he was exonerated.

Arshad Pappu had recently been released from a Balochistan prison by the jail authorities, he added.

Khurram Rasool remanded

A judicial magistrate remanded on Wednesday Mian Khurram Rasool, a former media coordinator of Prime Minster Yousuf Raza Gilani, in the custody of the Federal Investigation Agency in a fraud case till March 5.

Mr Rasool has been booked for making a business deal with complainant Abdul Hameed to send a shipment and allegedly failing to fulfil his obligations after receiving Rs85 million.

The FIA produced the suspect before a judicial magistrate (south) on Wednesday and the investigation officer informed the court that the suspect was detained in a Rawalpindi prison in connection with some other cases and he was taken into custody in the present case from prison on Feb 27 after taking permission from the district and sessions court concerned.

The IO also informed the court that two-day transit remand was taken on the same day.

The IO further said that the suspect was needed to be interrogated at length to complete the investigation and sought his remand till March 13.

However, Judicial Magistrate Inayatullah Bhutto remanded the suspect in the FIA custody for five days and directed the IO to produce him on the next hearing along with the case diary and a progress report of the investigation.According to the report placed in court under Section 167 (procedure when investigation cannot be completed in twenty-four hours) of the criminal procedure code, the suspect was engaged in an export and import business with the complainant and the former was required to send a shipment from Ghana and bills of lading to the complainant. The suspect received Rs85 million and handed over the bills of lading to complainant. However, the victim was informed that the documents were forged when he took them to the shipping line, it added.

Upon the demand for the imbursement of the money, the suspect issued multiple cheques to the complainant, but all of them were returned because of insufficient amount, it concluded.

A case (FIR 4/12) was registered under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant or by banker merchant or agent), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471(using as genuine a forged document), 489-F (dishonestly issuing a cheque for repayment of loan etc.) and 109 (abetment) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the FIA’s corporate crime circle, Karachi.

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