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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) ruled that there is no legal or moral compulsion to keep the people in jail merely on the allegation that they have committed offences punishable with death or transportation, unless reasonable grounds exist to disclose their complicity.

A Division Bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, after hearing the arguments of all parties on the post-arrest bail of petitioners – Taha Raza, Hussain Lawai and Muhammad Umair on 08-06-2021 and had passed the short order, whose detailed reasons were released on Saturday.

The IHC had admitted to post-arrest bail of the petitioners’ subject to furnishing of bail bonds of Rs10,00,000each with one surety each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the learned trial Court and granted them bails.

“We are of the opinion that the petitioners are entitled to the relief, particularly in view of the principles and law laid down in the cases of Dinshaw Hoshang Anklesaria vs National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and “Muhammad Jehangir Badr vs The State and others,” said the judgment.

It noted that the prosecution has not been able to satisfy us that the inordinate delay in conclusion of trial is not partly attributed to it. It is important to remember that bail is not to be withheld as a punishment. There is no legal or moral compulsion to keep the people in jail merely on the allegation that they have committed offences punishable with death or transportation, unless reasonable grounds exist to disclose their complicity.

“The ultimate conviction and incarceration of guilty person can repair the wrong caused by a mistaken relief of bail after arrest granted to him, but no satisfactory reparation can be offered to an innocent man for his unjustified incarceration at any stage of the case albeit his acquittal in the long run,” concluded the judgment.

Hussain Lawai was arrested on 23-06-2018, Taha Raza on 06-07-2018 and Muhammad Umair on 05-04-2019. The cases against them were registered due to suspicious transaction report regarding 29 accounts.

The judgment said during the course of investigation, the NAB has not collected any independent evidence against Taha Raza. It noted that there is statement of co-accused only and such statement is inadmissible under Article 38 of Qanun-e-Shahadat Order, 1984.

Regarding Hussain Lawai, the IHC noted that it is an admitted fact that petitioner/accused is 76 years of age; he is behind the bars for the last about three years. The reference No13/2019 was filed against him on 13.07.2019 and the charge was framed on 10.08.2020, ie, after one year of the filing of reference. The petitioner is suffering from multiple health issues; his X-ray and MRI reports show that he had vertebral body fracture with retropulsion of vertebral body into spinal cord, CT scan of chest, abdomen and pelvis show compression fracture of T12 vertebral body.

As far as petitioner/accused Muhammad Umair is concerned, he is behind the bars for last more than two years; prima facie no incriminating evidence is collected by the NAB against him; allegedly, he was an office boy and someone has misused his credentials and opened an account in his name and all the allegations will be examined by the trial Court during the course of trial.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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