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Drag race case: Supreme Court cancels protective bail granted by SHC

ISLAMABAD (January 18, 2011) : Showing sheer annoyance over grant of protective bail to Ali Riaz, son of chief executive of Bahria Town by Sindh High Court in a drag race, which claimed five lives on December 5, 2010, the Supreme Court on Monday cancelled the bail.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry with Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday was hearing a suo motu case regarding the killing of five persons during a drag race in Bahria Town.

The bench observed that how SHC could grant bail in a case, which occurred in the jurisdiction of Punjab. “This is completely illegal and we do not allow anybody to make mockery of the law as everyone is equal before the law,” remarked Justice Ramday. The investigation officer DIG Major Mubashir (Retd) apprised the court that Regional Police Officer (RPO) Rawalpindi Mukhtar Gondal along with Islamabad Police were not co-operating in the investigation of the case.

The Chief Justice asked him to take up the issue with Inspector General Police, Punjab. Justice Chaudhry remarked that it has been more than a month now, still there has been no progress in the case. “You are a very competent officer, don’t put your credibility at stake and you know, once it (credibility) is lost, it is lost forever,” he remarked.

The advocate-general, Punjab, Khawaja Haris informed the court that it was quite shocking that after the incident when Rawalpindi police raided Bahria Town chief executive’s residence, the high-ups of Islamabad police were present at the accused’s place, expressing sympathy over the killings in drag race.

He said that some progress had been made in the investigation as marketing manager of Bahria Town, Waleed Awan, security in-charge Colonel Rafaqat (Retd) and a car driver Majid Naeem had been arrested. He said that one of main accused Sheikh Atif has managed to escape from the country via Peshawar airport during his interim bail.

His red warrants, he added, have been issued and efforts were under way to bring him back through Interpol. The bench also asked the investigation officer to submit an application to the interior ministry to immediately bring back the accused Sheikh Atif. “If you keep on delaying the case, the court will pass its order,” it warned.

Meanwhile, the bench refused to listen to the father of Majid Naeem, a PTCL employee who was driving the car that ran over five people in the drag race, and told the father of the accused to think about those families who lost their loved ones. When the father of the accused diver, tried to gain sympathy, saying his son was innocent, Justice Ramday told him to think about the agony of those families who lost their loved ones. The court was adjourned till January 28.

Source: Business Recorder

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