City News

Magistrate turns down police report absolving KE high-ups in electrocution case

A judicial magistrate has overturned a report filed by police that absolved the K-Electric (KE) top management from the case of the death of a teenager due to electrocution during the last monsoon rains in Karachi.

The District South judicial magistrate-VII ordered: “Let the case be registered. As the offence is exclusively triable by the court of sessions, let the record of the proceedings be respectfully submitted to the court of sessions after completing formalities.”

Police had booked KE Chief Executive Officer Moonis Alvi, distribution head Amir Zia, senior security officer Faheem and assistant manager Owais for allegedly causing the death of 19-year-old Faizan from electrocution at the company’s office in Defence Housing Authority Phase-VII on August 11, 2020.

All the accused have obtained bail from the Sindh High Court.

The investigation officer on Friday filed a report, recommending disposal of the case in the ‘C’ class, or ‘cancelled’ class on the basis that the complainant, Muhammad Fayyaz, and other family members of Faizan had realised that the victim had mistakenly entered a KE sub-station. The IO added that the legal heirs of the victim did not want any legal action be taken against the nominated KE officers and had settled the matter out of court, after which they wanted to withdraw the case.

The complainant’s counsel also seconded the version of the IO, contending that such act came in the ambit of ‘mistake of fact’, as the FIR was mistakenly lodged by the family against the suspects who had no involvement in the case.

The judge noted that the FIR in the present case fell in the exception range, which caused the undersigned to disagree with the opinion of the IO to treat such report as final report under the C-class.

“Discussing whether such comes in the horizon of ‘mistake of fact’ the undersigned reached on the contrary opinion. Here the fact of the case is that a person had died due to electric shock when he entered into the sub-station,” the magistrate observed.

“There is nothing contrary on record to such version of the FIR, however, an additional version has been forwarded by the family of the deceased contending that it was purely his mistake and not of the K-Electric.”

The magistrate observed that the additional version no doubt was not supporting the prime version of the FIR, but also was not denying the fact that the person had expired due to electric shocks. “To reach a conclusion as to whether or not the additional version is worth considering the undersigned pursued evidence on record.”

“Astounded, there was no door in that sub-station and neither any security nor sign as depicted from the pictures and lack of precautionary measure cast the responsibility on current accused persons as notwithstanding absence of mens rea counts in (Section) 322 PPC is actus rues,” the magistrate wrote.

He noted that the IO was not empowered to get compromise in such offences, where the statute clearly had provided a guideline under the section 345 (compounding offences) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). He explained that as per the section 345 (2) of the CrPC, the Section 322 of the Pakistan Penal Code was compoundable with the permission of the court before which any prosecution was pending and such court was court of sessions, and not that of a magistrate, being incompetent to entertain the compromise.

“Hence because of such restriction, report cannot be treated under the C-class. Needless to mention that the parties are free to file such compromise before the Court of Sessions,” the judge added.

The judge said that due to such reasons, the final report was converted to a charge sheet against the accused persons.

The FIR was lodged under the section 322 (manslaughter) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Defence police station.

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