The police on Monday set free their four colleagues who were found to be “negligent” a day earlier when a man shot another man dead in their presence in Karachi's New Town locality.
Sohail Mughal, who had filed a petition in court for the recovery of his estranged wife and three daughters, had on Sunday allegedly gunned down 37-year-old Munawar Ali, with whom his wife and the children were living in flat in New Town. He had opened the fire in the presence of police personnel, who had escorted him to the victim's residence.
But police authorities said there was no legal cover to book the law enforcement personnel under criminal negligence charges as the new police act put in place a few years ago did not carry any such provision.
“We don’t have any penal section in PPC (Pakistan Penal Code) or Sindh Police Act wherein we could charge police officers for acts of criminal negligence,” revealed DIG East Amir Farooqi.
The senior officer pointed out that previously “we had section 155 in Police Order 2002 to place criminal liability in instances of criminal negligence by police officers”, but it was no longer applicable.
All detained police officers of Darakshan police who escorted the suspect on Sunday were thus released.
However, the DIG Farooqi said they have written to the DIG South to "initiate departmental action against the delinquent police officers who brought accused Sohail Mughal in a police mobile bearing a gun".
On Sunday, a police party had gone to the residence of Munawar Ali along with petitioner Sohail Mughal to arrest Ali on a court order to present Mughal's wife and his three daughters in court on the next hearing of the case.
However, before the police could arrest him, Mughal, who had hidden a 9mm pistol concealed in his shalwar, took out the gun and opened fire on Ali.
He fired four shots as a result of which Ali sustained two bullet wounds and was taken by the additional SHO Darakhshan to the Liaquat National Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Police arrested Mughal with the pistol and collected spent bullet casings from the crime scene.
On Monday, a case was registered against the suspect under Section 302 (murder) of the PPC on behalf of SHO New Town Mohammed Zubair.
The DIG East explained that the case was registered on behalf of the state as the victim’s family was insisting to nominate the police party which brought Mughal to the victim's residence.
An initial inquiry revealed that the officers could be guilty of ‘negligence’ but they had no involvement in Ali's murder.
The suspect in his initial statement before the police stated that he killed Ali as the deceased had allegedly "misguided" his family against him and also "occupied" his property.
According to DIG Farooqi, a daughter of the suspect is a doctor and the family had been separated "legally" from the father three years ago.
Police said it was still being probed as to what relation the deceased had with the family. The victim was involved in the construction business and also owned a car showroom.
Police sources said the deceased was being "supported" by an official of a civilian federal agency.
Mughal, on the other hand, was stated to be a retired officer of a civilian federal intelligence agency.