LHC asks ACE to take action against home dept officials

Updated October 17, 2019

Email

A two-judge bench was hearing appeals of three people convicted of kidnapping for ransom by a Sargodha trial court. — AFP/File
A two-judge bench was hearing appeals of three people convicted of kidnapping for ransom by a Sargodha trial court. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday directed the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) to initiate action against the Home Department officials responsible for misplacing record of shifting of three prisoners from a jail of Punjab to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A two-judge bench was hearing appeals of three people convicted of kidnapping for ransom by a Sargodha trial court. The bench comprised Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan and Justice Asjad Javed Ghural.

The bench learnt that the appellants were shifted from Sargodha to KP jail in 2011 for their trial in other cases. Later, they were released following suspension of their sentence and did not appear before the high court to plead their appeals pending since 2010. However, the home department was unable to submit record of their shifting.

On a short notice, Additional Chief Secretary Home Ali Murtaza appeared before the bench and sought time to submit a report on the matter. He told the bench that the relevant record was missing.

The bench observed that it appeared that some high officials helped the convicts escape the jail.

The bench directed the ACE director general to initiate action against then home secretary, the deputy secretary and the section officer who approved transfer of the appellants from one province to other in 2011.

The appellants including Fazal Muhammad, Arshad and Adeel were awarded 25-year imprisonment each for kidnapping a man for ransom in Sargodha. However, police recovered the kidnapped man and arrested the appellants.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2019