LHC gives police till July 25 to find anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan

Published July 5, 2023
Imran Riaz Khan.— Picture via @ImranRiazKhan’s/file
Imran Riaz Khan.— Picture via @ImranRiazKhan’s/file

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday gave the police until July 25 to find anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan, whose whereabouts remain unknown since his arrest on May 11.

The order was passed by LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti as he resumed hearing a plea seeking to find the anchorperson, who was among the individuals apprehended in the wake of protests that erupted in the country after the arrest of PTI chairman Imran Khan.

A first information report (FIR) pertaining to the matter was registered with Civil Lines police on May 16 on the complaint of the anchorperson’s father, Muhammad Riaz.

The FIR was registered against “unidentified persons” and police officials for allegedly kidnapping Imran, invoking Section 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

At the previous hearing, the LHC was told there had been some positive development in the case and it was expected that the anchorperson would be safely recovered within the next few days.

The hearing

Justice Bhatti presided over today’s hearing which was attended by the additional inspector general of Punjab, officials of the Ministry of Defence and the district police officer of Sialkot. The Punjab police chief was not present.

As the proceedings commenced, Brigadier (retd) Falak Naz — who was representing the Ministry of Defence — told the court that utmost efforts were being employed to recover the missing anchorperson.

“We are working on tracing locations and other issues. We are trying to recover Imran Riaz as soon as possible,” he said.

For his part, Mian Ashfaq Ali — the lawyer of the petitioner — said, “All the institutions are working to find Imran Riaz and we are hopeful that he will soon be recovered.”

Talking about the special working committee, which was formed by the Punjab police to review the progress of all police units for the recovery of Imran Riaz, he said that evidence and other case-related information were provided during the meetings.

However, Ashaf stated that they were facing hurdles pertaining to administrative matters. He added that the Supreme Court had also previously passed orders on such matters.

Here, Brig Naz said those problems could be looked into.

Subsequently, the court asked the police to remove the administrative hurdles pointed out by the petitioner within 20 days and instructed them to find Imran Riaz by July 25.

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