KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has maintained the life imprisonment of a man and acquitted another by deciding their appeal against conviction in a case pertaining to the targeted killing of a lawyer.

An antiterrorism court had handed down life imprisonment to Syed Kazim Abbas Rizvi and Noman, said to be workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, in November 2020 for killing Advocate Naimat Ali Randhawa in North Nazimabad in September 2013.

Randhawa was a former prosecutor at an ATC and a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s legal wing in Sindh.

The SHC maintained the conviction of Rizvi and acquitted Noman by extending him the benefit of doubt.

Court acquits another Muttahida activist in same case

The convicts, through their counsel, challenged the trial court order before the SHC while the complainant side also filed a criminal revision application seeking enhancement of the sentence.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice K. K. Agha and Justice Khadim Hussain Tunio in its judgement observed that independent eyewitnesses had identified appellant Rizvi as the shooter and deposed against him and the evidence of both the witnesses was found to be trustworthy and confidence inspiring while the testimonies of other prosecution witnesses was also consistent on all material points.

The appellant was arrested hardly three days after the incident and a pistol was found in his custody, which was turned out to be the crime weapon, it added.

However, the bench noted that the case of appellant Noman was distinguishable in nature as the allegation against him was that he was driving the motorbike on which Kazmi rode away after killing the lawyer.

It further said that witnesses had identified him as the driver of bike before the trial court and not during an identification parade and thus the correct identification was in some doubt and cannot be safely rely upon as there was no other corroborative evidence against him.

About applicability of the Anti-Terrorism Act in the present case, the bench noted that the prosecution had proved sufficient connections about the killing of the victim, who being a prosecutor of the ATC for many high-profile cases on the behalf of state due to which he had developed many enemies and had been receiving threats.

It also dismissed the application for enhancement of the sentence and observed that the life term of the appellant Rizvi was justified while keeping the mitigating circumstances of the case in view.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Warming ties
05 Jul, 2022

Warming ties

BILATERAL ties with the US are clearly on the mend after an extensive rough patch under the PTI government. While ...
LNG emergency
Updated 05 Jul, 2022

LNG emergency

The problem is that Pakistan does not have sufficient cash at the moment to buy even a single LNG cargo at present prices.
The invisible half
05 Jul, 2022

The invisible half

WHAT better illustrates the Afghan Taliban’s misogynistic and mediaeval worldview than the fact that not a single...
Wise counsel
Updated 04 Jul, 2022

Wise counsel

Fuelling the fires of communalism for petty political gains is dangerous and can have a long-lasting impact on India’s stability.
Hazardous waste
04 Jul, 2022

Hazardous waste

GIVEN we have not yet developed streamlined systems for managing locally produced hazardous waste, we are inviting...
Mob ‘justice’
04 Jul, 2022

Mob ‘justice’

OVER the past few days, a string of deadly incidents has been reported from Karachi in which enraged mobs have...