Dentist discharged in Dr Maha death case till final report

Published September 2, 2020
The IO informed that two other suspects Waqas Hasan and Junaid Khan were still absconding and requested for time to complete the investigation since the fleeing suspects were yet to be tracked down.  — File photo
The IO informed that two other suspects Waqas Hasan and Junaid Khan were still absconding and requested for time to complete the investigation since the fleeing suspects were yet to be tracked down. — File photo

KARACHI: A local court on Tuesday discharged a suspect in a case pertaining to the death of Dr Maha Shah till the filing of the final investigation report by the investigating officer in the matter.

Initially, the police said that the young female doctor practicing at a private hospital in Clifton had allegedly committed suicide by shooting herself at her home in Defence on Aug 18.

Later, the police booked her friends — including Junaid Khan, Waqas Hasan, Dr Irfan Qureshi along with two others — under relevant sections of the law.

When the matter came up before the judicial magistrate (South), the IO produced detained suspect Dr Irfan Qureshi to seek his physical remand.

The IO informed that two other suspects Waqas Hasan and Junaid Khan were still absconding and requested for time to complete the investigation since the fleeing suspects were yet to be tracked down.

The defence counsel for Dr Qureshi moved an application asking the court to discharge the applicant from the case on the ground of lack of evidence.

The counsel contended that the applicant was a dentist by profession and respectable citizen.

He claimed that the applicant was arrested with mala fide intentions of the station house officer. He contended that no evidence came on record that the deceased had been given any poison.

He added that on the day of the incident, the deceased came to the clinic of Dr Qureshi and after waiting for four hours she left without meeting the applicant/accused. In this regard, the conversation of the applicant and the deceased on WhatsApp was available on the record, he added.

The counsel said it was also admitted that the inquest report produced by the investigating officer and the death/medical certificate was silent regarding any kind of poisoning.

The counsel argued that the applicant had not committed any offence.

He asked the court to discharge the suspect in the present case and release him.

The state prosecutor opposed the plea, arguing that the applicant was booked on the statement of the father of the deceased and a blood sample report was still pending for results.

In the order, the judge expressed dissatisfaction with the submission of the state prosecutor that the accused was nominated in the FIR saying that “FIR itself is not a substantive piece of evidence”.

The judge observed that “nothing is available before me at present to connect the applicant into the case and to observe that he would definitely stand trial”.

The judge wrote that the allegations levelled against the accused had been found invalid.

The judge discharged accused Irfan Ali Qureshi under Section 63 of the CrPC subject to furnishing PR bond in the sum of Rs500,000.

However, the judge clarified that it is for the prosecution that the discharge of the suspect under Section 63 of the CrPC does not amount to his acquittal as such final investigation report under Section 173 of the CrPC can still be filed before the court.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2020

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