ISLAMABAD: A local court on Saturday issued a show-cause notice to the station house officer (SHO) of Shalimar for booking a three-year-old boy in a plaza occupation case.
The SHO was ordered to appear before the court along with the record of the case on January 7.
According to the FIR, Mohammad Khalid complained to the police that Adil Asghar, his brother Usman, Mohammad Ishtiaq Bangash, Rafiq and Mustafa had occupied the basement of his plaza in Sector F-10. He said they also occupied some rooms on the ground and third floors and stole furniture from there.
The investigating officer of the case, Michael Gill, stated that after examining the complaint the accused were booked under section 380 (theft) and 448 (trespassing) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The accused filed pre-arrest bail petitions with the sessions court.
When Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Raja Asif Mehmood took up the petitions, the little boy appeared in the court in the lap of his uncle.
When the judge asked why the boy was in the courtroom, he was informed that the boy was among the accused persons seeking pre-arrest bail.
“Did the boy also file the pre-arrest bail plea?” asked the judge. A lawyer representing the accused said since the police had registered the FIR against the boy, a bail petition on his behalf was also filed.
The judge granted bail to the accused and ordered the SHO to appear before the court with record.
Adil Asghar, one of the accused, told Dawn that the case was registered against them as the complainant was an activist of a political party.
Court summons SHO with record, investigating officer suspended
“Some two-and-a-half months ago, we reached an agreement with Khalid to hire a hall in his plaza for setting up of a restaurant,” he added.
“The restaurant was named after my three-year-old nephew, Usman, who was booked by the police.”
Asghar said Usman was a pre-nursery student and “we used to bring him to the restaurant on his way back home from the school.”
However, he added, “the agreement was never signed as after few days the owner asked us to raise the rent or vacate the hall. But we refused and the owner started threatening us.”
On November 25, an application was filed with the senior superintendent of police and another with the SHO Shalimar on December 27, Asghar stated.
He said that on December 3, the owner along with some other people tried to get the restaurant vacated. The matter was brought in the notice of the Shalimar police but no action was taken.
On December 7, an application was submitted to the court of civil judge (West), seeking a stay order which was granted on December 12. The next hearing of the stay was scheduled in January, Asghar added.
He said the police registered the case against him, his three-year-old nephew and three others on December 17. Later on his complaint, a case was also registered against the plaza owner under section 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation).
On the other hand, a spokesperson for the police on Saturday said there was no truth about the registration of a case against any child. He said Mohammad Khalid in his application stated that Adil Asghar along with his brother Usman, Mohammad Ishtiaq Bangash and others had occupied the basement of his plaza and also took away valuables.
After registration of the case, it transpired that Asghar had four brothers - Mohammad Zaheer, Mohammad Shoaib, Mohammad Idrees and Mohammad Raheel - all above 20 years of age. “Adil has no brother with the name of Usman,” the spokesman said. “Neither any case has been registered against any child nor any arrest made,” he added.
When contacted, the complainant, Khalid, said: “I received a call on December 3 in which the caller introduced himself as Usman and brother of Adil. Later, a man with the same name met me and threatened me.” As a result, I nominated Usman in the case.
“I am not a child to nominate a minor in the case,” he said, adding one of the accused Ishtiaq Bangash was working with a private news channel and operating a property business in the plaza. Khalid said he (Bangash) was the man who staged the drama to occupy the plaza.” He said he was considering moving the court of law against the accused for damaging his reputation.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Saturday ordered the suspension of the SHO Shalimar for registering the case against the minor without confirmation. The minister also sought an explanation from acting Inspector General of Police Khalid Khattak.
Published in Dawn, December 20th, 2015