SHC expresses displeasure at police officers in missing persons’ cases

HYDERABAD: A division bench of the Sindh High Court Hyderabad circuit comprising Justice Abdul Maalik Gaddi and Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha on Tuesday expressed its utter displeasure over cases of two missing persons of 2015 and 2016 and directed police officials — a deputy superintendent of police and an inspector — to appear in person before it as there were specific allegations against them.

The court ordered that the Sindh home secretary form a joint interrogation team (JIT) for recovery of a resident of Hyderabad in line with its Aug 30 order.

Also read: Reasons behind the increase in missing persons in Sindh

It directed the SSP Dadu to appear before court on Oct 11 along with a detailed report.

Hearing a petition of Suleman Bhand, the bench said Suleman’s brother Abdul Ghafoor Bhand was missing for over past two years from the area of police station B-section Dadu.

The bench perused the record which showed five sessions of JIT had been held to trace out the missing person, but they remained clueless about Ghafoor Bhand.

The court referred to its June 9, 2016 order which showed DSP Dadu Rasool Bux Siyal was present on that date and the petitioner’s counsel had alleged in his presence that he had demanded Rs200,000 for recovery of Ghafoor.

The court noted that since there was a direct allegation against the DSP — a respondent in the petition — he should appear on next date of hearing to explain his position by filing specific comments failing which appropriate action shall be taken against him.

The court referred to its May 31, 2018 order which remains relevant in the matter.

It reproduced its operating para in Tuesday’s order according to which, “progress report was submitted by Dadu SSP which mentioned that something had come on surface that DSP Rasool Bux Siyal had abducted Abdul Ghafoor Bhand at the instance of his opponents.

DSP demanded Rs0.2m for release and in case of non payment, Bhand would be murdered”.

On Tuesday the court took on record the progress report submitted by the Dadu SSP regarding efforts made by him for Bhand’s recovery.

The bench observed that it was a routine report and nothing new was pointed out for recovery and the report offered little assistance to court.

The additional advocate general (AAG) submitted that the matter had been referred to a provincial task force for consideration of Bhand’s case, but no report was received from the quarters concerned as to whether any session of the task force was held or otherwise for recovery of the missing person.

The court directed the AAG Sindh to submit the task force report on next date of hearing.

The court noted that despite clear directives no efforts were made to trace out the missing persons.

The court said that reports submitted by the Dadu SSP on Tuesday and previously were stereotype and without substance.

Therefore the SSP should appear in person before it on Oct 11 along with a detailed report of efforts made by him for recovery and explain as to why after serious allegation against the DSP no action as per law was taken against him.

Suleman Bhand’s brother Ghafoor Bhand, a cattle trader, had gone missing on Jan 7, 2016.

In his petition, Suleman said that Ghafoor was carrying Rs250,000, a golden chain and a ring on that day. His family mounted search for him, but failed to get any clue. An FIR (16/16) was lodged under directive of Dadu’s sessions judge where an application was filed by the petitioner’s family.

He asked the court to direct respondent police officials to recover his brother.

In another petition filed by Malook Zadi, a resident of Hyderabad, for recovery of her son the court issued directives for inspector Sikandar Bhatti, who was posted as Qasimabad police station SHO in 2015, to appear before it.

Ms Zadi, who was represented by Advocate Farhad Ali, stated in her petition that her son Imdad Ali, a junior clerk in the Sindh agriculture department, had gone missing on Oct 26, 2015.

According to her counsel, inspector Sikandar Bhatti had picked up Imdad Ali. An application was filed on Oct 27 before the deputy inspector general of police and senior superintendent of police Hyderabad for his recovery but in vain. She asked the court to ensure her son’s recovery.

The court observed that since Oct 26, 2015 Ali’s whereabouts remained unknown.

The court perused the record of the case and noted that on Aug 30, 2018 the Sindh home secretary was directed to form a JIT and submit a report within a month. But the JIT was not formed and therefore no progress was made for recovery of the missing person.

The Hyderabad SSP filed a report regarding efforts taken by him for recovery. The court adjourned matter to Oct 10 with directives to the SSP to submit a fresh progress report.

The court, however, said that since serious allegations were there against Sikandar Bhatti he would appear in court along with specific comment regarding his involvement in case.

The court directed its office to send immediately copy of Aug 30 order, ordering formation of JIT, to home secretary and submit its compliance.

The court ordered SP Hyderabad to provide legal protection to life and liberty of the petitioner.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2018



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