Two suspects in a case pertaining to the death of Dr Maha Shah in Karachi's Defence Housing Authority escaped from the courtroom on Monday after a sessions court recalled their interim pre-arrest bail.
Police had initially said the 24-year-old doctor, practising at a private hospital in Clifton, had allegedly committed suicide by shooting herself in her home in DHA on August 18.
Later, police booked her friends Junaid Khan, Waqas Hussain Rizvi and Dr Irfan Qureshi along with two others under relevant sections of the law including one pertaining to poisoning a person to death.
On Monday, Additional District and Sessions Judge (South) Samina Ghauri pronounced her verdict on applications seeking confirmation of interim bail before arrest granted to two of the suspects — Junaid Khan and Waqas Hussain Rizvi.
The judge dismissed the applications moved by both the suspects and recalled the interim pre-arrest bail granted to both the suspects, paving the way for their arrest.
“However, both the applicants (Junaid and Waqas) escaped from the courtroom after their bail applications were dismissed,” the complainant’s counsel Abbas Razvi told Dawn.
“Suspect Waqas escaped first, but the investigating officer managed to get a hold of Junaid. However, unfortunately some lawyers and other people in plain clothes helped Junaid escape as well from the IO's custody,” Razvi added.
Last week, the judge had reserved her order on the applications after hearing arguments from the defence counsel, state prosecutor, the investigating officer of the case and the counsel for the complainant.
In their arguments, defence counsel Khawaja Naveed Ahmed and Rehman Ghous had requested the court to confirm the suspects' pre-arrest bail, maintaining that they would not misuse their interim bail and would not abscond from the court.
On the other hand, advocate Abbas Razvi for the complainant had vehemently opposed the applications for bail confirmation, arguing that the suspects were wealthy people who could abscond abroad by misusing the concession of interim bail.
The counsel further apprehended that if interim bail was confirmed there were chances that the suspects might tamper with the evidence, as they had allegedly gotten tampered the postmortem report of the victim, which showed that Dr Maha had allegedly committed suicide instead of being shot by someone else.
Razvi had argued that suspect Junaid was a habitual offender as he was previously implicated in two other First Information Reports, adding that both the applicants had to prove mala fide intent on the part of the complainant and the police for the sake of confirmation of their interim bail.
However, the defence counsel had contended that the two FIRs in which Junaid was previously nominated had already been declared C-class (cancelled), saying that Junaid himself had paid for the ambulance that took Dr Maha to hospital.
The counsel further argued that Junaid and Dr Maha had not met on the day she died.
The state prosecutor and the investigating officer, Sub-Inspector Sharafat, had also opposed the applicants’ pleas for bail confirmation.
The sole detained suspect, Dr Irfan Qureshi, was discharged from the case "for the time being" earlier this month by a judicial magistrate till the filing of the final investigation report by the investigating officer. Qureshi was granted post-arrest bail against a surety of Rs500,000.