IHC bars police not to arrest any accused in court premises

Court observes police transgression of authority and disobedience to court can’t be overlooked

ISLAMABAD  -  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday directed the police not to arrest any accused from the premises of high court and ses­sions court.

A single bench of IHC com­prising Justice Arbab Muham­mad Tahir conducted hearing of a matter related to arrest of a woman from the court premises and issued these directions.

The IHC bench also directed the SSP (Investigations) to hold a meeting with the Inspector General (IG) of Islamabad po­lice and finalize the SoPs in this regard and inform it to all the policemen. He said to him that make it clear to the IGP that no accused would be arrested from the court premises.

During the hearing, SSP Rukh­sar Mehdi appeared before the court and expressed his embar­rassment over the arrest of a woman by a policeman. He in­formed the court that the con­cerned ASI has been suspended and further investigations are underway. He also ensured the court not to repeat the incident in future. Justice Arbab said that the police arrested the woman as soon as she left the court. He di­rected the SSP to hold a meeting with the IG to finalize the SoPs and inform the court within two days. Later, he deferred the hear­ing of the case till Thursday. 

In this matter, the appli­cant Shabana Kanwal is the mother of an accused Saif ur Rehman and at the time of ar­guments in bail petition of her son, the lady had been present in the court but subsequently, was arrested by Zahid Hameed ASI from within the premises of this court. The court observed in its written order that the al­legation, on the face of it, reflects transgression of authority and disobedience to the court of law, therefore, cannot be overlooked. 

Later, on the direction of this court, Zahid Hameed ASI produced the lady before the court and begged pardon for causing arrest of the lady from within the premises of court. 

The court order said that he shall file his explanation as to why he shall not be proceeded against on account of alleged wilful defiance and transgres­sion of authority. The official, Za­hid Hameed ASI, on being ques­tioned, stated that the lady was implicated in FIR No.404 failed at Aabpara police station by her son, the petitioner in connected petition, who was arrested in the referred case on 23.07.2023.

According to the ASI, the dis­closure so made by the co-ac­cused had been on 24.07.2023 and thereafter said the accused remained on physical remand till 31.07.2023 when sent to ju­dicial lock-up. 

The IHC bench said that it is quite strange that since July, 2023 till today, despite lapse of more than five months, no effort was made to finalize the investi­gation and to cause arrest of the accused persons. As apprised by the official in attendance, the investigation was earlier con­ducted by Nasrullah ASI who has since been transferred and then the investigation was entrusted to him by the orders of DSP. 

The judge also observed that the conduct demonstrated by the official, prima facie, reflects trans­gression of authority and is­sued notice to S.P. Investigations, ICT to appear in person along with the relevant record for fur­ther proceedings in due course.

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