SHC issues notices on plea against ‘enforced disappearance’ of student

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The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued notices to the federal and provincial law officers among others on a petition filed against the allegedly enforced disappearance of an engineering university’s student by personnel of law enforcement agencies (LEAs).

Petitioner Tayaba Khalid said her son Mohammad Umar Bin Khalid is a final-year student at an engineering university, adding that on June 14 he was picked up by personnel of LEAs from PECHS Block 2.

She said that around a dozen personnel of LEAs had picked up her son from outside Jamia Masjid Hanifia Ghousia and forcibly taken him away to an undisclosed location. She said that CCTV camera footage also proved his “enforced disappearance”.

The petitioner’s counsel said the “detainee” was not produced in any court of law, while his whereabouts are still unknown. He requested the court to direct the federal and provincial LEAs to provide details of Khalid’s whereabouts, and produce him in court. He also sought the details of any pending cases or FIRs registered against him.

After the preliminary hearing of the petition, the court issued notices to the federal and provincial law officers, the Sindh police chief and other LEAs, telling them to file their comments.

Bail pleas dismissed

The SHC also dismissed the bail applications of two people in a drugs case. Sharieen and Rasheed were arrested by the Sukhan police with 1.58kg and 1.13kg of charas respectively.

The applicants’ counsel said his clients were innocent and were falsely implicated in the case. He said that there was no independent witness to the incident, so they are entitled to be released on bail on point of further inquiry.

The deputy prosecutor general opposed the bail, saying that the applicants have criminal records, and according to the amendment introduced in the Control of Narcotic Substances Act, the minimum punishment prescribed for the said offence is nine years.

The court said the applicants were named in the FIR with specific allegations that on their arrest, 1.58kg and 1.13kg of charas was recovered from them respectively, with a positive report of the chemical examiner.

The court also said that no doubt there was no independent witness to the incident, but for this reason, the complainant and his witnesses could not be disbelieved by the court at this stage.

The court observed that the applicants are said to have criminal records, and the offence alleged against the applicants is affecting the society at large.

The court also observed that there appear reasonable grounds to believe that the applicants are guilty of the offence with which they have been charged.

The court said that no case for the release of the applicants on bail on point of further inquiry is made out, and therefore, dismissed their bail applications with the direction to the trial court to dispose of the case against the applicants preferably within three months.

Published at The News on July 3, 2023

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