Registration of ‘missing’ person cases state’s responsibility: SHC

Published February 21, 2019
The bench also directed the authorities concerned to check the record of prisons and internment centres across the country.— Reuters/File
The bench also directed the authorities concerned to check the record of prisons and internment centres across the country.— Reuters/File

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday expressed resentment over police for not lodging an FIR in a matter pertaining to a missing person after his father complained that it was the responsibility of the state to register a case even if nobody turned up from an aggrieved party.

A two-judge SHC bench, headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, hearing dozens of petitions of missing persons also issued notices to the home secretary, inspector general of police, Rangers director general and others for March 27.

The father of a missing person, Zafar Iqbal, filed the petition stating that his son was reportedly picked up around two years ago within the remit of the SITE Superhighway police station.

The petitioner submitted that the police were not lodging an FIR as the whereabouts of his son remained unknown.

The court issues notices to IGP, Rangers chief for March 27

Justice Phulpoto observed that it was the duty of the police to register the cases pertaining to disappearance of people and if nobody came up from the aggrieved family the state must lodge a case on its behalf.

The bench also directed the authorities concerned to check the record of prisons and internment centres across the country to ascertain the whereabouts of three other missing persons.

It also asked the authorities to collect the call data record of the missing persons.

Remand extended in Ranjhani murder case

The administrative judge of the antiterrorism courts on Wednesday extended till Feb 24 the physical remand of the chairman of a Malir union council and a police officer in a case pertaining to killing of a local leader of the Jeay Sindh Tehreek (JST), Irshad Ranjhani.

On Feb 18, the administrative court had remanded UC chairman Abdul Rahim Shah and sub-inspector Riaz Hussain Amur in police custody after a magistrate ruled that it appeared to be a premeditated murder and also came within the ambit of anti-terrorism law.

On Wednesday, the IO again produced the suspects, but the administrative judge came down hard on him for not incorporating the offence of the premeditated murder and the relevant section of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 in the case.

The IO said that they challenged the order of the magistrate, but the court observed that the police had to follow the order until it was suspended or set aside.

The court was also informed that a letter had been sent to the authorities for constitution of a joint investigation team.

Initially, the police had booked the UC chairman for the manslaughter offence and police officer for taking Ranjhani to a police station to book him in an attempted robbery case instead of shifting him to hospital.

JST leader Ranjhani was killed by the UC chairman on Feb 6 in Malir in an alleged mugging incident.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2019

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