ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a bail plea of Moazzam Ali, one of the suspects in the 2010 murder case of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Imran Farooq.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Tariq Masood had taken up the appeal of Moazzam Ali challenging the June 13 rejection of his bail application by the Islamabad High Court.

On a statement of FIA Inspector Shahzad Zafar Chaudhry on Dec 5, 2015, a case was registered against Moazzam at a police station in Islamabad under the Anti-Terrorism Act. He was arrested by Rangers at his Karachi residence.

The apex court dismissed the appeal on the grounds that it was not appropriate to intervene at this stage when investigating agencies had already submitted an interim challan to a trial court.

The appeal is dismissed on the grounds that it is not appropriate to intervene when investigating agencies have submitted an interim challan to a trial court

Deputy Attorney General Sohail Mehmood informed the bench that Moazzam had facilitated accused Mohammad Kashif Khan Kamran and Syed Mohsin Ali — members of the All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation — by opening their bank accounts, purchasing air tickets for Britain and helping them get admission in the London School of Management.

He had been in contact with Kashif and Mohsin, who had allegedly killed Dr Farooq in London, and in their confessional statements they had also named the petitioner as a conspirator and facilitator of the murder.

According to an interim report submitted to the apex court, a joint investigation team revealed that the assassination of Dr Farooq was a result of a conspiracy hatched in the UK and Pakistan by the MQM chief, senior party member M. Anwar, Iftikhar Hussain, Khalid Shamim, Mohsin Ali and others.

Khalid Shamim and Moazzam facilitated and sent Kashif and Mohsin to assassinate Dr Farooq in London on Sept 16, 2010.

The report said the accused jointly and in connivance with eight others had conspired, assisted, abetted and committed the murder to remove threat to the leadership of the MQM and to overawe the general public and workers/members of the party by creating a sense of fear and insecurity in the community.

Mansoor-ur-Rehman Khan Afridi, appearing on behalf of Moazzam Ali, argued that the confessional statements of the accused against his client was recorded five years and three months after the murder and said the petitioner was being victimised because of political rivalry.

The petition said Moazzam Ali was a law-abiding citizen who had been paying more than Rs3.5 million as tax per year to the government exchequer before his illegal arrest and detention.

It argued that the high court had failed to apply conscious judicial mind while dismissing the bail petition of Moazzam Ali, adding that the court had also erred in law by ignoring the fact that the petitioner was entitled to bail as his case fell under further inquiry.

“Refusal of bail to the petitioner amounts to his pre-trial conviction. The high court cannot make redundant any provision of law without examining its vires, but legitimised alleged illegal confinement of the suspect,” the petition said.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2016