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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), Friday, disposed of a case seeking the recovery of Kashmiri poet, Ahmad Farhad, directing the investigating officer to record his statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) before a judicial magistrate.

A single bench of IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the missing poet Ahmed Farhad case, wherein, his wife moved the court through lawyers, Imaan Mazari and Hadi Ali Chatha for recovery of her husband and asked the petitioner to approach the court again if they felt the need.

The IHC bench disposed of the petition after his whereabouts were ascertained following the confirmation of his custody with the police in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Additional Attorney General Munawwar Iqbal Dugal and Assistant Attorney General Barrister Usman Ghumman were also present in the court while the petitioner was represented by Imaan Mazari.

During the hearing, Justice Kayani emphasised the importance of enforcement of law in Islamabad, saying that no one, including judges, is above the law. He stated that he is referring this matter to a committee and that everyone must respect the law.

Mazari informed the bench that the anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Muzaffarabad rejected the poet’s bail plea. She also told the court that the petitioner is currently challenging the bail application on a higher forum.

Justice Kayani asked from the lawyer that is there any other case registered against Ahmed Farhad? The lawyer replied that at first, a case was filed and later another was said to have been filed.

The judge remarked that “the poet’s problems are increasing but it is now believed that he is in judicial custody.”

Justice Kayani questioned about the poet’s whereabouts before his arrest, stating that the issue pertains to enforced disappearance.

The Additional Attorney General said “if the abductee is recovered, the petition of habeas corpus is dismissed.” He further said “they say that instructions to identify the kidnappers should also be issued but this matter will be revealed during the investigation.”

The AAG said “the poet is now in judicial custody and a statement under Section 161 has been recorded.”

Justice Kayani asked the AAG to show if the investigating officer went to Kashmir and recorded Farhad’s statement. He remarked “it is written in the statement that he is mentally and physically unable to give a statement. It is also written that he will appear in court himself or give a statement through a lawyer.”

Justice Kayani said he was writing about the matter to the chief justice IHC requesting him to form a larger bench regarding all the missing persons’ cases. He added he was sending the matter to the IHC CJ to form a larger bench in that regard so that if the position of one judge was different, others could also review it from a different angle.

He also remarked about sending the matter to the committee on how the law in Islamabad should be enforced. He remarked that respect the law, no one was above the law including judges.

The IHC judge said the court was always standing for the protection of the poet’s rights. He further said the investigation would proceed as a result of Ahmad Farhad’s statement before the magistrate.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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