The Sindh High Court on Tuesday directed the inquiry committee headed by the Sukkur DIG police to finalise its report to verify the authenticity of a police officer’s secret report which accused a provincial minster of harbouring robbers and criminals in Shikarpur.
The direction came on an application seeking the suspension of the Sindh police chief’s order for the constitution of a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe a police high-rank officer’s allegations against the ruling party’s MPA about the harbouring of robbers and criminals in Shikarpur.
The Sindh advocate general submitted that the Sindh police chief had ordered the constitution of the inquiry committee on April 24 to probe the authenticity of the former SSP Shikarpur’s secret report on nexus of the provincial minister with criminals and their patronage. He submitted that the order of the Sindh police IG reflected that the committee was constituted, not a JIT, with the task of completing the inquiry within seven days and make specific recommendations for its disposal.
He submitted that the committee had completed its working, however, due to the restraining order of the court to not finalise the report, the committee had not signed the report. He sought permission from the court to allow the committee to finalise the report and present it to the Sindh police IG for further action as warranted by the law.
Applicant’s counsel Amir Mansoob Qureshi submitted that he had no objection if the report was finalised and presented to the Sindh police chief for further action. However, he said, he reserved his position on the constitution of a JIT, saying that if a JIT was constituted it would be unlawful.
The SHC’s division bench, headed by Justice Omar Sial, after hearing the arguments of the counsel by consent, ordered the committee to finalise its report and provide a copy to the petitioner’s counsel.
Petitioner Ahsan Ahmed had moved the court for the constitution of a JIT to probe former Shikarpur SSP Dr Rizwan Ahmed’s report sent to the Sindh police IG about the connection of MPA Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh, his family members and employees with robbers and criminals, as the report accused them of harbouring criminals who were involved in heinous crimes. He alleged that the PPP MPA was using his criminal wings against the political opponents and to create fear.
He submitted that a confidential report regarding Shikarpur was sent to the Sindh IG police and the home department in which serious questions were raised about dubious role of some important local public and political figure who were allegedly involved in the commission of crimes and harbouring criminals.
He said that then IG Sindh had issued direction for the constitution of a JIT comprising members of the enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies to inquire into the matter, expose the alleged culprits and also recommend long-term measures to shelter the police from the extraneous pernicious influences which adversely affect not only the efficiency in the line of duty but also threaten the law and order and public safety.
However, the counsel submitted that the present IG Sindh constituted a committee appointing DIG Sukkur Fida Hussain Mastoi as chairman and DIG special branch Javed Akbar Riaz and SSP Khairpur Umar Tufail as members to probe the matter with the directions to finalise the inquiry within seven days with specific recommendations for its disposal.
The counsel filed a statement to show no confidence on one member of the committee, SSP Umar Tufail, based on some pictures with the ruling party MPA. He submitted that a JIT was to be constituted comprising members of both law enforcement and intelligence agencies, but no member was included from any intelligence agency.