KARACHI: The prosecution on Tuesday pointed out discrepancies in the preliminary charge sheet submitted by police in the case pertaining to alleged breach of sanctity of the Quaid’s mazar registered against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader retired Captain Safdar Awan.
Deputy district public prosecutor (DDPP) East Arif Sitai in his scrutiny note observed that the investigation officer (IO) of the case, SI Yousuf Narejo, did not record statements of the independent witnesses who were present at the place where the offence was alleged to have been committed.
Mr Awan, who is the husband of PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz, was taken into custody by police on October 19 from a Karachi hotel, where the couple was staying during their visit to the metropolis to attend the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) public gathering on the preceding day. He was granted bail by court hours after his arrest.
According to the FIR lodged by Waqas Khan, said to be a nephew of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Haleem Adil Sheikh, Mr Awan, his wife and cohorts violated the sanctity of the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah by creating a ruckus inside and chanting fiery slogans.
Prosecutor Sitai said that the IO failed to get approval from his senior officers, as required under Section 181 (being a thug or belonging to a gang of dacoits, escape from custody, etc) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) before submitting the charge sheet. The IO also did not attach the complaint moved by the administration officer of the mausoleum board nor did he record the officer’s statement as per Section 161 of the CrPC, he added.
The prosecutor, however, seconded removal of Sections 506-B (criminal intimidation) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) from the FIR as neither Captain Safar used a weapon in the alleged offence nor did he damage any property.
He said that the IO should remove these discrepancies from the charge sheet and then re-file it in the court under Section 173 of the CrPC within three days.
Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2020