KARACHI, Jan 17: A division bench of the Sindh High Court admitted on Friday a Harkatul Mujahideen leader’s appeal against his conviction and punishment in a bomb blast case.

The bench consisted of Justice Wahid Bux Brohi and Justice Moosa K. Leghari.

Appellant Mohammad Hanif, deputy chief of the Harkatul Mujahideen Al-Alami, submitted, through Advocate Abdul Waheed Katpar, that he was falsely implicated in the Marina Club bomb explosion. An anti-terrorism court convicted him and sentenced him to a total of 42 years’ imprisonment on different counts though, he maintained, the prosecution had failed to prove its case against him. The ATC failed to take into account statements of witnesses appearing in his favour.

The bench admitted the appeal and issued notice to the state.

NOTICE TO GOVT: A division bench of the High Court of Sindh issued on Friday notices to the home secretary Sindh and the superintendent of the Central Prison Karachi for Feb 4 on a petition challenging the jail trial of accused in terrorism cases, adds APP.

The bench comprised Justice Mohammed Roshan Essani and Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali.

The petition was filed by Mohammed Hanif, the chief of the Harkatul Mujahideen Al-Aalmi, and Shaikh Mohammed Ahmed alias Danyal, an activist of the Al-Aalmi.

The petitioners, through their advocate Abdul Waheed Katpar, challenged their jail trial in four cases, FIR 253/2001 registered by the Peerabad police (handgrenade blast case) under section 4/5 of the Explosive Act, FIR 178-2002 registered by the Sharea Faisal police under section 3/4 of the Explosive Act, FIR 103/2002 registered by the Bahadurabad police under section 13-E of the Arms Ordinance and FIR 223/2001 registered by the Jamshed Quarter police under sections 302/396/353 of PPC.

Impugning the notification dated 21-8-2002 issued by the home secretary Sindh, the petitioners challenged the trial inside the Central Prison Karachi before the ATCs I and II.

The counsel maintains that the jail trial is violative of section 352 of CrPC and section 15 of the Anti-terrorism Act which provide for trial at the place of incident/occurrence.

A bench of the SHC, consisting of Justice Ataur Rahman, put off the hearing of an application filed by three police officers accused in the murder case of Mir Murtaza Bhutto, Ashique Hussain Jatoi and six other workers and supporters of the PPP (SB) in September 1996.

Shoaib Suddle, a former DIG Karachi, who is at present the IG Balochistan, former SSP Wajid Ali Durrani and former inspector Zeeshan Kazmi seek quashment of proceedings against them in the murder case.

When the application came up for hearing, A. Q. Halepota, counsel for applicant/accused Shoaib Suddle, sought adjournment.

Allowing the request, the court put off the hearing to a date to be fixed by the office of the court.

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