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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), Monday, directed the police not to arrest any accused from the premises of high court and sessions court.

A single bench of Justice Arbab Muhammad Tahir conducted the hearing of a matter related to the arrest of a woman from the court premises and issued the aforementioned directions.

The IHC bench also directed the SSP (Investigations) to hold a meeting with the inspector general (IG) of Islamabad police and finalise the SOPs in this regard and inform all the policemen. He said to him that make it clear to the IG that no accused would be arrested from the court premises.

During the hearing, SSP Rukhsar Mehdi appeared before the court and expressed his embarrassment over the arrest of a woman by a policeman. He informed the court that the concerned ASI had been suspended and further investigations were underway. He also assured the court of no repeat of the incident in future.

Justice Arbab said the police arrested the woman as soon as she left the court. He directed the SSP to hold a meeting with the IG to finalise the SOPs and inform the court within two days. Later, he deferred the hearing of the case till Thursday.

In this matter, the applicant, Shabana Kanwal, mother of an accused Saifur Rehman, and at the time of arguments in the bail petition of her son, the lady had been present in the Court but subsequently, was arrested by ASI Zahid Hameed from within the premises of this Court.

The court observed in its written order that the allegation, on the face of it, reflects a transgression of authority and disobedience to the court of law and, therefore, cannot be overlooked.

Later, on the direction of this court, ASI Zahid Hameed produced the lady before the Court and begged pardon for causing arrest of the lady from within the premises of the Court.

The court order said that he shall file his explanation as to why he shall not be proceeded against on account of alleged willful defiance and transgression of authority.

The official, Zahid Hameed ASI, on being questioned, stated that the lady was implicated in FIR No404 of PS Aabpara by her son, petitioner in connected petition, who was arrested in the referred case on 23.07.2023.

According to the ASI, the disclosure so made by the co-accused had been on 24.07.2023 and thereafter said accused remained on physical remand till 31.07.2023 when sent to judicial lock-up.

The IHC bench said that it is quite strange that since July 2023 till today, despite lapse of more than five months, no effort was made to finalise the investigation and to cause arrest of the accused persons. As apprised by the official in attendance, the investigation was earlier conducted by Nasrullah ASI who has since been transferred and then the investigation was entrusted to him by the orders of DSP.

The judge also observed that the conduct demonstrated by the official, prima facie, reflects transgression of authority and issued notice to S.P. Investigations, ICT to appear in person along with the relevant record for further proceedings in due course.

It added that meanwhile, Ms Shabana, is admitted to ad-interim pre-arrest bail in FIR No404, dated 14.05.2023, under sections 457, 380 PPC PS Aabpara, Islamabad.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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