KARACHI: Two suspects escaped from the City Courts premises after a sessions court recalled their interim pre-arrest bail in a case pertaining to the death of Dr Maha Shah in Defence Housing Authority on Monday.

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

Later, the police booked her friends Junaid Khan, Waqas Hussain Rizvi, Dr Irfan Qureshi along with two others in the case.

On Monday, Additional District and Sessions Judge (South) Samina Ghauri pronounced the order on applications seeking confirmation of interim bail before arrest granted to suspects Khan and Rizvi.

The judge dismissed the bail confirmation applications and recalled the interim pre-arrest bail granted to them.

The court observes both suspects did not cooperate with police in the probe

“However, both the applicants escaped from the courtroom after their bail applications were dismissed,” complainant’s counsel Abbas Razvi told Dawn.

“Suspect Waqas had escaped from the courtroom earlier. The investigating officer managed to arrest Junaid, but unfortunately some lawyers and other people in civil dress helped him escape from the custody of the IO,” he added.

In the order, the judge noted that based on the content of the FIR suspect Junaid was a friend of the deceased, they had developed a relationship and Junaid used to provide her drugs, alcohol and humiliated her amongst friends on social media.

“So on the day of the alleged incident the deceased disclosed that Junaid and Waqas Hussain Rizvi and others are threatening and blackmailing her for dire consequences, they gave mental torture and made her life miserable, thereafter, she committed suicide,” the judge noted.

The judge further noted that the victim’s sister and brothers were the witnesses of this incident, adding that suspects were nominated as accused in the present case and specific roles for providing drugs, cocaine, alcohol, etc, had been attributed to them.

Defence counsel submitted that two FIRs of the same incident were lodged under relevant sections of the law. They argued that two FIRs of the same offence could not be lodged as per the judgements of the apex court.

The judge noted that the defence counsel filed a copy of WhatsApp messages, but the same had not been provided to the IO during investigation, as the said messages were not available in police record.

The judge said that the contents of the FIR had been admitted by the accused side about going to her (Dr Maha’s) house on the day of the incident to provide her chocolates and thereafter she committed suicide and both the applicants were nominated in the crime.

The judge noted that in their statements before the police, the witnesses nominated the applicants in the present case while according to the police the exhumation of the body of the victim was under process to ascertain the truth.

The judge noted that after obtaining pre-arrest bail the suspects neither cooperated with the police in the investigation nor did they provide their mobile phones “only to conceal the actual facts on one or other pretext by taking advantage of press conference and social media with intention to effect the investigation”.

The judge further wrote that the instant matter was not the case in which extraordinary relief of pre-arrest bail could be granted.

“Admittedly the present matter is under investigation in which the accused persons did not cooperate in investigation and the exhumation of the dead body of the victim is also under process, therefore, the present matter is at premature stage of the case, in which the challan had not been submitted yet,” the judge said.

“So keeping in view the said circumstances and in the interest of justice, I found that prima facie the accused connected in the commission of the crime, therefore, the present bail applications are not liable to be considered, hence are dismissed and interim orders of bail dated 31.08.2020 granted to the applicants/accused named above are hereby recalled accordingly,” the judge ruled.

Earlier, a judicial magistrate had discharged Dr Qureshi from the case “for the time being” till filing of a final investigation report by the IO and had granted him post-arrest bail against a surety of Rs500,000.

Interim charge sheet filed

Meanwhile, a judicial magistrate (South) accepted an interim charge sheet in the case pertaining to alleged misuse of a licensed weapon used by Dr Maha to commit suicide.

The IO mentioned in the interim report that a 9mm pistol was initially purchased on July 9 by Saad Nasir, who later sold it to Tabish Yaseen on July 12 for Rs55,000.

The report said that Mr Yaseen had verified having purchased the weapon from Mr Nasir, adding that he had provided the same pistol to Dr Maha around one and half months ago before the alleged incident.

The IO stated that the ballistic analysis report had confirmed that the weapon had been used, but a report regarding verification of the arms licence in the name of Saad Nasir was still awaited.

In the interim report, the IO charge-sheeted Yaseen and Nasir for having committed offences punishable under Section 24 (punishment for possessing arms with intent to use for unlawful purposes) and 25 (punishment for use and possession of firearms or imitation firearms in certain cases) of the Sindh Arms Act, 2013.

However, the IO removed Section 109 (abetment) of the PPC in the interim charge sheet and requested for time to file the final investigation report.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2020