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KARACHI, Sept 7: Two men allegedly involved in an extortion case were enlarged on bail by the Sindh High Court on Saturday.

A division bench comprising Justices Ghulam Sarwar Korai and Naimatullah Phulpoto granted bail to Muhammad Amin and Ghulam Mustafa in the sum of Rs200,000 each.

The suspected extortionists were booked on April 4 by the Preedy police on the complaint of a shopkeeper, Muhammad Imran Sharif, who alleged that they had demanded Rs25,000 protection money and threatened him of dire consequences over failure to pay the sum.

According to the complainant, the two men phoned him on April 3 to demand the protection money introducing themselves as members of criminal gangs.

Following the registration of the case, the police tracked down the suspects and arrested them on April 8. The police charge-sheeted them in an anti-terrorism court.

On July 6, the trial court rejected their bail applications.

Their counsel contended before the bench that the prosecution had not yet produced a shred of evidence against his clients and prayed to the court to allow their bail applications.

The bench allowing the bail to the two accused observed that the prosecution did not produce any substantial evidence.

It further observed that the recovery of only cellular phone and that was too without any call data was not sufficient to show involvement of the accused in the commission of the offence.

Two extortionists jailed for 10 years

Meanwhile, an anti-terrorism court sentenced on Saturday two men to 10-year imprisonment in an extortion case.

Mohammad Sabir and Shahab Zaman were found guilty of extorting money from the manager of a cellular company’s franchise in Civil Lines in March 2012.

Additional District and Sessions Judge (central) Aliya Latif Unar, who is also working as the judge of an ATC, pronounced her verdict after recording evidence of witnesses and hearing arguments from both sides.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs5,000 each and in case of default the convicts would have to undergo an additional three-month imprisonment.

The judge also held both the accused liable for carrying unlicensed weapons at the time of their arrest and handed down two-year imprisonment and directed them to pay a fine of Rs1,000 each. In case of non-payment they would have to spend another one month in prison.

Both the sentences would run concurrently.

According to the prosecution, the accused persons along with their absconding accomplices came to the franchise office, located near State Life Building on Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road, and demanded Rs5 million from manager Hafiz Abid Hussain as protection money. However, the police arrested the accused when they again came to collect the money and recovered unlicensed weapons in their possessions, it added.

A case was registered against the accused persons under Sections 386 (extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt), 508-B (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Civil Lines police station.

Mohammad Mujahid alias Azad and Taig Ali Magsi are absconders in the case.

The convicts were produced in court in custody. The court extended the benefit of Section 382-B (period of detention to be considered while awarding sentence of imprisonment) of the criminal procedure code and remanded them back to prison with conviction warrants.