SC asked to direct JIT to collect evidence against real perpetrators

Suo moto hearing on brutal murder of Arshad Sharif on June 13

ISLAMABAD   -  Mother of murdered journalist Arshad Sharif on Thursday requested the Supreme Court of Pakistan to direct the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate former prime minister Imran Khan, ex-ministers of PTI and others for collecting evidence against the real perpetrators in this case.

In this regard, the renowned journalist’s mother filed two applications through Advocate Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui under Order XXXIII Rule 6 of Supreme Court Rules 1980 in the suo moto case.

A five-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Jamal Mandokhel, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, will hear suo moto on brutal murder of Arshad Sharif on June 13.

In the application, Shaukat Siddiqui pleaded that former PM and Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan, PTI’s former ministers Faisal Vawda and Murad Saeed, CEO ARY News Salman Iqbal and journalist/Vlogger Imran Riaz Khan, who had claimed with ‘all certainty to this affect’, be directed to join the investigation and the JIT be directed to probe them for collecting evidence against the real perpetrators.

He submitted that his client being the mother of deceased anchorperson, feels that investigation of the case at first instance be conducted and proceeded in Pakistan where conspiracy to kill the journalist was hatched. He contended that the applicant is kept in the dark about the persons joined in the investigation of the case.

Shaukat Siddiqui contended that Fact Finding Report and reports submitted by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) before the court were neither given to him nor to Arshad’s mother. In the last hearing she through him requested the bench either to supply Fact Finding Report and other reports or allow the counsel to inspect/peruse these reports with permission to take notes, but on unwillingness of the Attorney General for Pakistan no order to this effect was passed.

He therefore prayed that copies of Fact Finding Report and other reports submitted by JIT to-date be supplied to her. In the alternative allow him to have access to the reports for inspection/perusal, and with the permission take notes.

On the last hearing the bench had expressed concern over the leak of Fact Finding (FF) report before it was submitted in the court.

Shaukat Aziz submitted that the applicant has every right to know about the progress of investigation and material collected so far. He said Arshad’s mother is lurking in uncertainty as they were not allowed to peruse the reports, which is contrary to the law and the principles of natural justice.

He added, “Any material furnished before the apex court cannot be kept secret if some negligent act has been performed by the investigation agency.” “Non-supply of these reports is like putting [salt] on the wound of the applicant,” maintained the counsel.

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