KARACHI: A judicial magistrate on Monday directed the investigating officer to file the charge sheet in the Nazim Jokhio murder case before the administrative judge of the antiterrorism courts “without fail and lame excuse within two days”.

Nazim Jokhio, 27, was found murdered at the Malir farmhouse of Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Jam Awais on Nov 3, 2021.

His brother Afzal Jokhio nominated PPP MPA Awais, his elder brother MNA Jam Abdul Karim, their servants and guards for murdering Nazim, who earned the ire of the influential after stopping their foreign friends from hunting houbara bustard.

On Monday, Judicial Magistrate (Malir) Altaf Hussain Tunio warned the IO, Inspector Siraj Lashari that “in case of failure, a strict action would be initiated against him in accordance with law”.

Order comes on family’s plea seeking implementation of court’s Feb 8 order

The magistrate passed these directives while disposing of an application filed by the victim’s legal heirs seeking an action against the IO for not filing challan/ charge-sheet/ record and proceedings of the case to the administrative judge of the ATCs in compliance with the court’s Feb 8 order.

Advocate Syed Khalil Ahmed, who filed the application on behalf of the victim’s legal heirs, submitted that the incumbent court had retu­rned a final report/charge sheet filed by the IO under Section 173 of the criminal procedure code along with complete police file/papers, directing him to submit the same before the ATCs administrative judge.

However, he alleged that despite the passage of more than a month the IO had failed to submit the pap­e­rs with the administrative judge.

He pleaded the court to take an action against the IO for not submitting the record and proceedings of the case to the ATC in compliance of the court’s earlier directives.

Objecting to such contentions, counsel for MPA Awais submitted that the incumbent court of judicial magistrate had no jurisdiction to entertain the present application, which was not maintainable for hearing.

He submitted that it was a sub judice matter and the incumbent court had no power to interfere or pass any order on the application.

The counsel pleaded to dismiss the plea.

Defence counsel for other suspects also opposed the plea, requesting the court to dismiss the same for not being maintainable.

Appearing on a court notice, the IO filed a written reply stating that on Feb 9 he had received the record and proceedings (R&Ps) of the case and in compliance with the incumbent court’s directives, met with the judicial staff of the administrative judge of the ATCs who directed him to present the case file to the public prosecutor.

The IO said he appeared before the public prosecutor, who asked him to produce the file in the office of the Prosecutor General (PG) for further orders.

He submitted that then he met the PG and handed him the police file. He added that a reply of the scrutiny was submitted to the public prosecutor on March 1.

He further submitted that at present the police file was available with him and he would submit the record and proceedings before the administrative judge of the ATCs.

The magistrate observed that the case record showed that the investigation had been completed, final investigation report had been forwarded by the prosecution showing five accused in custody, four as absconders and seven others as innocent, thus letting them off due to non-availability of evidence against them.

The magistrate noted that after hearing the parties he had passed the Feb 8 order on the final investigation report, returning it along with complete police file/papers for presenting the same before the administrative judge of the ATCs “findings that the matter fell within the jurisdiction of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997”.

Overruling the defence’s objection about having powers to entertain the present plea, the magistrate opined that such a contention had no force at all in any way as the matter related to the ‘compliance’ of the order was passed earlier by the incumbent court.

“Therefore, this court is very much competent to take action or direct IO to make compliance of the lawful order, passed by the undersigned,” the magistrate ruled.

“Investigating officer is strictly directed to make compliance of the earlier order dated Feb 8 without fail and without any lame excuse and submit the R&Ps before Administrative Judge for Anti-Terrorism Courts within two days and submit such compliance report,” the magistrate’s order said.

He also cautioned that “in case of failure, a strict action would be initiated against him in accordance with law”.

While disposing of the application, the magistrate directed the office to forward the copy of this order to the administrative judge of the ATCs for information.

A case was registered under Section 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Memon Goth police station on the complaint of victim’s brother Afzal Jokhio.

Published in Dawn, March 15th, 2022

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