KARACHI: Police filed a charge sheet on Tuesday against former provincial information minister Sharjeel Inam Memon along with his three employees and two prison officials for allegedly destroying evidence in a case pertaining to recovery of liquor from his Dr Ziauddin Hospital room.

He with his employees — Muhammad Jam, Mushtaq Ali and Shakar Din — has been booked in the case pertaining to alleged recovery of the liquor from his room in the Dr Ziauddin Hospital in Clifton on Sept 1.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had raided the room and found the liquor. Later, he was sent to prison while his three employees were detained.

On Tuesday, the investigating officer submitted a report to the court of the judicial magistrate (south).

In the report, the IO showed that Memon had been arrested in the present case while his three employees ­were released on bail.

The IO mentioned the recovery of two bottles of liquor, another two bottles (apparently one containing honey and other some medicine) CCTV footage of Dr Ziauddin Hospital and cash.

He also listed 15 witnesses —Mujahid Khan, the assistant superintendent of the Karachi central prison, Sub-Inspector Rustam Ali of court police, Constable Muhammad Shahid, Head Constable Azhar Abbas, Shoaib Hanif, Inspector General of Prisons Imran Yaqoob Minhas, DIG-Prisons Nasir Aftab, Sardar Hussain, Hasan Ahmed, Danish Gulzar, Dr Ejaz Ahmed, the medico-legal officer of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Dr Zahid Hussain, the chemical examiner and SI Zulfiqar Ali — in the charge sheet.

In the report, the IO mentioned that on Sept 1 he received a note from Mujahid Khan stating that he was deputed at the Dr Ziauddin Hospital in Clifton, which was declared as sub-jail. SI Rustam Ali and Constable Shahid of the court police were deployed on security duty of a VIP room, where Memon was staying.

He said upon receiving information regarding illegal activities inside the room on Sept 1, he along with the assistant superintendent, Naseem Ahmed Shajra, entered the room at 0930 hours and found that three employees — Shakar Din, Mushtaq Ali and Muhammad Jam — brought two bottles of liquor, the report stated.

The prison officer said one bottle of ‘Grey Goose Vodka’ contained two inches of liquor while it appeared that the other bottle contained honey. He added that both the bottles were sealed and the three persons were taken into custody.

Such an act of the accused fell within the ambit of Section 4 (owning or possessing intoxicant) of the Prevention (Enforcement of Hadd) Ordinance 1979.

The IO stated that he visited the VIP room, prepared an inspection sketch, photographs and also obtained signatures of the complainant, Mr Shajra, whose statement was also recorded under Section 161 of the criminal procedure code.

He mentioned that after interrogating the three detained men he took them to the JPMC, where their blood samples were also drawn.

He mentioned that the samples drawn from the recovered bottles could not be sent to the office of the chemical examiner for an analysis since it was weekly holiday on Saturday and the next day was Sunday.

The IO said next day samples were sent to the chemical examiner, while video footage of the hospital’s CCTV cameras was obtained, which clearly showed suspicious activities of the accused persons.

“The statements of prosecution witnesses Sardar Hussain and Ahmed Hassan were also recorded while other witnesses were also interrogated, who confessed to have changed the case properties,” the report stated.

“On Sept 4, Shakar Din, Mushtaq Ali and Muhammad Jam, who were released on bail, were further interrogated at a police station. They disclosed that they had thrown bottles of liquor recovered from Sharjee’s room in a dustbin,” the IO added.

He further mentioned that the accused persons were taken to the parking area of the Dr Ziauddin Hospital, where they pointed towards a dustbin and disclosed they had thrown the liquor bottles there on Sept 1. “In the presence of witnesses head constable Azhar Abbas and police constable Muhammad Naseem the dustbin was searched, but the bottles were not found,” he added.

In the chemical examination report issued by the chemical examiner’s office, the doctor remarked ‘negative’ and further wrote that the same samples could be got tested from some other laboratory, the IO said.

He further mentioned after obtaining a no-objection certificate from the judicial magistrate concerned he interrogated Mr Memon in prison while statement of ASI Muhammad Akram was also recorded.

In the light of the circumstances of the case, evidence found during investigation and the act of the detained men of changing the case property and destroying the evidence in connivance with each other, the Section 201 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) was inserted in the FIR.

On Sept 7, the IO mentioned that he visited the prison and showed the photographs of available bottles to Prisons IG Minhas, who in his statement under Section 161 of the CrPC said that these were not the same bottles which he himself had seen during a visit to the room (of Sharjeel Memon).

The statement of DIG-Prisons Aftab was also recorded.

The IO concluded that the statements of these two top officials strengthened the facts of the incident. On the orders of the court, Mr Memon was also interrogated inside the prison, he added.

The IO said that Mr Shajrah was also found involved in the commission of the offence along with other suspects.

He said SI Habibullah, who was on security duty at the sub-jail, was found responsible for negligence as he did not take any action against higher officers.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2018