HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad circuit bench of the Sindh High Court on Wednesday granted protective bail to Pir Syed Fayyaz Shah for a sum of Rs50,000 till Sept 26 but denied the same to his daughter Hina Shah - wife of Pir Asad Ali Shah - though both were prime suspects in the murder case of their minor housemaid, Fatima Furro, at their mansion in Ranipur on Aug 14.
The division bench comprising Justices Mahmood A Khan and Zulfiqar Ali Sangi noted that counsel for Ms Shah would have to satisfy the court first how her application could be entertained in view of the fact that she had earlier approached the court’s Sukkur bench on Aug 17 and was bailed for seven days but she failed to approach proper forum for seeking relief during the bail term.
It showed that she apparently misused the concession granted to her hence the surety she had submitted to the court had already been forfeited for non-compliance.
The bench also issued notice to additional prosecutor general directing him to appear in court on Sept 26 and said that till then Fayaz Shah would not be arrested for the crime (No.126/23) filed under Sections 302, 34, 370, 374, 328-A, 506, 171, 311, 376(3), 377 PPC read with Section 3, 14 of the Sindh Prohibition of Employment of Children Act 2017, and Sections 6, 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act.
The applicants argued in the bail application that the FIR registered against them was fabricated and result of mala fide intentions of local police and the complainant. It was lodged with ulterior motives to cause harassment, humiliation, arrest and detention of the applicants, they said.
The applicants’ counsel said that the alleged incident took place on Aug 14, 2023, but the FIR was lodged on Aug 16 after a delay of two days and no plausible explanation was given for the delay in the FIR.
He said that Fayaz Shah was not initially nominated in the FIR, his name was subsequently added by police. The complainant had narrated a story on the basis of ‘hearsay’ and no specific role was assigned to the applicants for causing murder of Fatima alias Saya Furro in the FIR, he said.
The complainant did not mention in the FIR Naseem, son of Aftab, who informed her of the death of her daughter and even her own mobile phone number through which she received the information.
He said that according to the FIR close circuit television camera’s footage went viral on social media but the complainant failed to identify the person and his ID through which the footage went viral. Ms Shah belonged to a respectable family and could not even imagine committing such an offence, he added.
He said that police had misapplied sections as they had no relevance to facts of the case and had been incorporated on the sweet will of a high police official. On Aug 30, civil judge and judicial magistrate of Sobho Dero ordered inclusion of ATA provisions on an application of the investigating officer without applying judicial mind, he said.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Hina Shah as the wife of Syed Fayyaz Shah. She is, in fact, his daughter. The error is regretted.
Published in Dawn, September 22th, 2023