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SC judges to supervise probe into Hammad’s murder

May 16, 2007

ISLAMABAD, May 15: The Supreme Court on Tuesday appointed two senior judges to supervise investigations by police and other agencies into the murder of apex court’s additional registrar Syed Hammad Amjad Raza.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz also ordered a judicial inquiry into the murder of Mr Raza and directed the Ministry of Interior and the Islamabad police to make all-out efforts to bring the culprits to book.

The additional registrar was shot dead by four men who broke into his house before dawn on Monday. Though police claimed that the murder had been committed by robbers, Mr Raza’s wife, who witnessed the killing, said it was a target killing in which the government and agencies were involved.

Acting Chief Justice Rana Bhagwandas ordered two senior Supreme Court judges – Justice Javed Iqbal and Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar – to examine police reports, monitor investigation and pass appropriate orders on the judicial side since the incident was directly related to the court.

Justice Bhagwandas issued the order after two senior police officers of the city came to the Supreme Court as directed by the judges who had visited the residence of the deceased.

The judges had directed deputy inspector-general of Islamabad police Shahid Nadeem Baloch and senior superintendent of police Zafar Iqbal to submit daily progress reports to the apex court registrar after the bereaved family expressed dissatisfaction over police investigations.

Earlier, during the hearing by a 13-member larger bench of the petition of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry against his removal, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, the counsel of the chief justice, prayed the court to take cognisance of the incident.

He also mentioned a news item, which appeared in a section of the press, that Mr Raza had been subjected to “third degree” by intelligence agencies after the suspension of the chief justice to extract evidence and make him stand in the witness box against the chief justice.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Interior has rejected the impression that the murder of Mr Raza was a target killing and said preliminary investigations have revealed that it was an incident of robbery.

He, however, said the scope of investigations has been enlarged by obtaining finger prints and taking sniffer dogs to the crime scene.