Perween Rahman case: SHC irked by police 'disobedience'

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday expressed strong anger towards the inspector general (IG) and the senior superintendent of police (SSP) and remarked that they have "violated the orders of the court" in the Perween Rehman murder case.

Justice KK Agha made the remarks during the hearing of the petition against the detention of the accused in the case, in which Provincial Interior Secretary Saeed Ahmed, IG Sindh Ghulam Nabi Memon and others appeared before the court.

Justice Agha expressed his indignation and said that “you [officials] people make decisions based on bad intentions and come here and confess”. 

“When the high court has ordered the acquittal of the accused then what is the justification for their detention?” he asked.

The judge maintained that if there was an objection to the decision then an appeal should have been filed in the Supreme Court. “This kind of behaviour is not acceptable at all,” he added.

Read Seven years on, Perween Rahman murder case lingers

The court furthered that if there is a fear of a breach of peace from the accused, then "where is the CRO [criminal record office] of the accused?" Addressing IG Memon, Justice Agha said that he is a public servant, not an employee of any government.

In his remarks, Memon told the court that only one case of Rehman's murder has been registered against the accused.

The court further inquired whether the police has been informed that there is a threat from the accused. To this, IG Sindh said that there were intelligence reports regarding it.

Irked by the remark of the IG, the court stated that "no excuse of his is acceptable" and said that the police are calling the accused criminal but could not present any evidence. It directed the police to give a CRO.

To this, the police officer asked the court for more time to present details, while the SSP West reiterated that they had intelligence information, on the basis of which the criminal charge was registered against the accused.

The SSP further told the court that the victim's sister had appealed that her life was in danger. To this, the SHC judge inquired if the sister had received any threatening phone calls.

The SSP West replied in negative and maintained that the sister had only stated that she was in danger.

The court then asked who had issued the threat letter and warned the officials to give a straight answer, and not force the court to issue a strict order.

Also Read SC disposes off Parween Rehman murder case

“Enough is enough, we will order action against the police officers,” the court added.

Justice Agha furthered that the court was not satisfied with the investigation of the department of the advocate general and said that he had warned many times about the "bad investigation".

The IG Sindh then requested the court to give them another chance.

At this, the court said that action should be taken against all of the officials for a botched investigation and asked for an explanation as to why the officials wanted to lock up the accused for 90 days.

The court added that the officials are constantly referring to a phone call as an intelligence report and said unless the accused are proven by the CRO to be a dangerous suspect, there is no justification for the maintenance of public order (MPO).

The AAG then told the court that the government has the power to take administrative decisions. Therefore, it should be allowed to do so.

The court remarked that if the AAG withdraws the MPO's order, the case will be over.

The home secretary stated that an opportunity should be given to consult with the cabinet.

Subsequently, the court adjourned the case and directed the Sindh government, IG and home secretary to consult.

It is pertinent to note that last month, the SHC had acquitted all the five men sentenced in the murder case of Rahman while declaring their conviction and sentencing by an anti-terrorism court in Karachi null and void for lack of evidence.

Rahman, a social activist and the then director of the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP), who had devoted her life to the development of impoverished neighbourhoods, was shot dead near her office in Orangi Town in March 2013.

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