SC gives Nov 10 as deadline to recover missing accused

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday directed that the 11 missing accused be recovered by November 10.

The apex court was hearing a petition against the alleged abduction of Dr Niaz Ahmed, Mazharul Haq, Shafiqur Rehman, Mohammad Aamir, Abdul Majid, Abdul Basit, Abdul Saboor, Shafique Ahmed, Said Arab, Gul Roze and Tehseenullah from Adiala jail.

The 11 suspected terrorists were allegedly abducted by some intelligence agencies soon after their release from Adiala jail.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday was hearing the petition moved by Attiqur Rehman and others against the alleged abduction.

Supreme Court (SC) while allowing time till November 10 to police for recovery of 11 persons who have gone missing after their release from Adiala jail has maintained court is concerned with recovery of missing persons rather than arrest of police personnel.

During the course of hearing chief secretary Punjab Shahid Khosa appeared in the court and informed IG Punjab had sought report on disappearance of 11 persons after their release from jail. The report would be presented in the court within 4 days, he added. The report worked out by special branch was also submitted in the court.

The CJP after seeing the report remarked that according to police the acquitted persons were released while the contents of the report were different.

“Our priorities are recovery of missing persons rather than sending police personnel to jail”, CJP observed. Additional Attorney General had given statement about these persons being not in the custody of intelligence agencies. Giving such statements in future be avoided, CJP said.

“When legal way is there then as to why the illegal courses be adopted”, Justice Ramday remarked.

Chief secretary told the court police was mobilizing all its resources for recovery of these 11 persons. The report would be presented in the court as soon as it was received from IG Punjab on this count, he said.

“Court is not concerned with the arrest of police personnel. Court wants to know only where the missing persons are and in whose custody they are”, justice Ramday said.

The hearing of the case has been adjourned till November, 10.

It may be mentioned that the 11 missing persons had been acquitted by trial courts in four terrorism cases including charges under the Explosive Substance Act in April.

Later, the Lahore High Court (LHC) upheld the trial court`s decision and ordered their release on May 26.

They were arrested in connection with rocket attack on the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra, firing anti-aircraft missile on a plane carrying former President Pervez Musharraf and carrying out suicide attacks on the bus of an intelligence agency in Rawalpindi and at the main entrance of the GHQ.

Subsequently, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Imdadullah Wassal issued a detention order on April 8 to prevent the release of the suspects. After the expiry of that order a similar decree was issued by Home Secretary Shahid Khan.

According to the petitioners, their relatives were abducted from the Rawalpindi Adiala Jail and allegedly handed over to the intelligence agencies when the high court directed to set them free in May. A case has also been registered in this regard.

The Adiala jail superintendent, Saeedullah Gondal, and Deputy Superintendent Khalid Bashir were arrested from the apex court premises on the orders of the chief justice.

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