LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday extended the physical remand of a teenage boy for four days in a road accident case in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) that claimed the lives of six members of a family.

The police presented suspect Afnan Shafqat before the court on expiry of his previous five-day physical remand. The investigating officer asked the court to extend his remand for 14 days.

Judge Abher Gul Khan directed the IO to remove the handcuffs of the suspect and asked about the reasons for seeking further remand.

The IO stated that a bone ossification test for determining the age of the suspect had been conducted, but its result was still awaited. He said the suspect had been changing his statements during the investigation.

Therefore, he said, further custody was required to conduct polygraph and photogrammatic tests of the suspect besides interrogation on several other important aspects of the case.

A counsel for the suspect opposed further remand saying the police could not seek further custody in anticipation of the test reports only.

He argued that addition of section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 in the FIR and the subsequent remand under the terrorism charge was unlawful.

The judge asked the lawyer to challenge terrorism charges and the remand before Lahore High Court.

The judge extended the physical remand of the suspect for four days.

Complainant Rafqat Ali and his lawyer were also present in the court.

The complainant lost his wife Rukhsana Bibi (45), son Husnain (25), daughter-in-law Ayesha (23), son-in-law Sajjad (30), four-month-old grandson Huzaifa and granddaughter Anaya (4) in the deadly road accident.

RECORD: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the inspector general of police (IGP) and the chief traffic officer (CTO) on a petition challenging the inclusion of underage drivers’ names in the criminal record.

A counsel for the petitioner contended that the police were registering the names of arrested underage drivers, mostly students, in the criminal record, despite the CTO assuring the court that the record of such cases would not be maintained. He said the act of the police was tantamount to contempt of court.

The lawyer expressed regret stating that identity cards for children had not yet been issued, but criminal record was being created. He requested that the names of the underage drivers should not be included in the criminal record, and an order be issued to remove the names of children from the police record.

Justice Ali Zia Bajwa sought replies from the respondents by Dec 5.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2023

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