KARACHI: A sessions court reserved on Friday its order on an application seeking confirmation of interim pre-arrest bail granted to a suspect booked after his pet dogs mauled a lawyer in the upscale Defence neighbourhood.

Police booked Humayun Ali Khan, owner of the dogs, and their handlers Fahad and Ali as their dogs attacked and injured Advocate Mirza Akhtar in DHA Phase-VI.

On Friday, suspect Khan moved an application before Additional District and Sessions Judge (South) Shahid Ali Memon pleading to confirm the interim bail granted to him earlier.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the judge reserved his order to be pronounced on Saturday (today).

At the outset, the suspect appeared in court on a wheelchair and his counsel, Javed Mir, submitted that his client was suffering from neurological problems and hypertension and was admitted to the South City Hospital from where he was driven to the court.

The counsel while producing his medical certificates argued that Mr Khan, who is the owner of a salon in Zamzama, was not present at his home when the incident had taken place, adding that he immediately rushed home as soon as he heard about it.

“Keeping a pet dog is not a crime,” he said, adding that the applicant had hired two handlers for his dogs, who were both in judicial custody already.

Secondly, the counsel argued, the police had inserted Section 324 (attempted murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code in the FIR and nominated Danial, a son of Humayun. Therefore, the section was not applicable on the father, since he was not nominated, he added.

Advocate Mir further said that in the footage of the incident Danial was also not seen at the place of the incident but his two handlers (servants) were.

He argued that Section 289 (negligent conduct with respect to animal) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) was applicable in the present case, but this section too did not fall within the prohibitory clause and was a bailable offence.

He said the victim was not seriously injured since he himself had left the place after being bitten by the dogs.

However, the counsel said the applicant was willing to appear before the Karachi Bar Association to apologise and compensate, or whatever would be decided by the office-bearers. He requested the judge to confirm his interim pre-arrest bail.

Advocate Naeem Qureshi, who appeared for the victim, said his client was a senior lawyer and the bar association was with him. He opposed the defence counsel’s request for confirmation of interim bail of the suspect and pleaded to dismiss the same.

Advocate Haq Nawaz Talpur also tried to file his power of attorney on behalf of the victim, but the defence counsel argued that he could not represent any private party since he had been appointed as a deputy attorney general.

A video clip had gone viral on social media showing a man getting mauled by two pet dogs earlier this week. The incident was recorded by a CCTV camera, which showed two dogs attacking a man as he passed by. The victim could be seen tackled to the ground as the hounds continued to attack him.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2021

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