KARACHI: Expressing extreme annoyance over the patchy reports of police and the home department on the constitutional petitions for the recovery of several ‘missing’ persons, the Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the respondent authorities to file their respective replies on the matter within one month.

Headed by Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar, a division bench warned the respondent police officials of appropriate actions against them if they failed to come up with proper investigation into the cases of missing persons.

Justice Gorar came down hard on a police investigator for filing a shabby and “stereotyped” report regarding the investigation into the disappearance of a man, Yasin Jabbar.

The SHC berates a police official for filing ‘stereotyped’ report

The judge warned that the police officer who filed a bogus report in the missing person case would be placed under suspension. “They will mend their ways only when their salaries are withheld,” he remarked.

Justice Gorar said that the police officials did not make efforts in tracking down the missing persons and they always had pretext for not efficiently working on the cases.

The bench directed the provincial police chief, director general of Rangers, DIGs concerned and others officials to file their respective replies in a month.

During the hearing, the bench also took up the case of Shamoon, son of Yaqoob, who had been missing since March 1.

The judges were informed that the young man, an employee of a chemical company and resident of Defence Housing Authority, was taken away by the law enforcers from his residence.

Another petitioner, Shahnaz Bibi, said that her brother-in-law was arrested during a raid at his house in Federal B. Area by the personnel of the law enforcement agencies.

She said that the family approached the area police and other high-ups of law enforcement agencies, but to no avail as they feigned ignorance about the disappearance and detention of Inayatullah.

She asked the court to direct the respondent authorities to recover her brother-in-law and produce him in court.

Plea for probe into Rao Anwar-led encounters

The same bench also expressed its displeasure over the home department and police for their failure to submit their reply on a petition seeking an impartial inquiry into killings of 250 people in encounters allegedly led by suspended SP Rao Anwar.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Advocate Muzammil Mumtaz Meo Rajput, praying to the court to constitute a high-profile committee to probe into the killings of 250 persons in ‘fake encounters’ led by Rao Anwar since 1992.

During the hearing, the bench came down hard on the respondents for not submitting their reply and directed them to ensure that their reply should be submitted by the next hearing. The petition against SP Rao also impleaded the home secretary as one of the respondents.

The petitioner informed the judges that Rao Anwar had been serving as SSP Malir for quite a long period and during his tenure he led hundreds of “staged encounters” but none of them was scrutinised impartially.

Advocate Muzammil said that the SSP, who was recently placed under suspension, had misused his powers.

The suspended SSP Malir has of recent been in the spotlight after the alleged extrajudicial killing of 27-year-old Naqeebullah Mehsud.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2018