KARACHI: A sessions court has issued bailable warrants for the arrest of 11 witnesses, who failed to appear in court to record their testimonies against the accused in the Dr Maha Ali Shah suicide case.
Initially, police had said that the 24-year-old doctor practicing at a private hospital in Clifton had allegedly committed suicide by shooting herself on the night of Aug 18, 2020 in Defence. Later, four of her friends — Junaid Khan, Syed Waqas Hussain Rizvi, Tabish Yaseen Qureshi and Saad Nasir Siddiqui — were charged with rape, manslaughter and concealing evidence.
When the matter came up before Additional District and Sessions Judge (South) Ashraf Hussain Khowaja recently, the investigating officer submitted a report regarding compliance of the court’s directives issued on the last date.
On Aug 2, the court had dismissed an application moved by accused Khan and Rizvi pleading to exclude Section 376 (punishment of rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) from the case.
The witnesses have failed to appear in court to record their testimony despite issuance of notices
The court had also directed the IO to obtain DNA samples of both the men, who had allegedly been deliberately avoiding giving the same for the past one year, and send them to a laboratory for their matching with those of the victim.
While submitting the compliance report, the IO stated that the samples had been obtained on Aug 26 and the same had been sent to the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS), Jamshoro for DNA matching.
He added that the chemical analysis report was awaited from the laboratory and requested for time to enable him to obtain the same and submit it in court.
On Aug 9, the court had indicted the four men in the case and had summoned 11 witnesses to record their statements.
However, the IO informed the court that the summons issued by the court could not be served upon the witnesses, thus none of them had shown up. Taking exception to their absence despite issuance of notices, the judge issued bailable warrants for their arrest.
The IO was directed to arrest them and produce before the court to record their testimonies on Sept 25.
In the charge sheet, the IO had listed around 38 witnesses, including family members of the victim, a judicial magistrate who had supervised exhumation of the body for a second post-mortem examination on the court’s order, members of the medical board and others.
A case was registered under Sections 322 (manslaughter), 376 (punishment for rape), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) of the PPC at the Gizri police station.
Rs200m heist suspects remanded
A judicial magistrate remanded four suspects in police custody in a case pertaining to Rs200 million cash van heist case.
The IO produced Majeed Gul, Noorullah, Saifullah and Salman before the judicial magistrate (South) and requested for their 14-day physical remand for interrogation and investigation.
He claimed that Rs8.1m of the looted money had been recovered from Gul, Rs1.3m from Noor, Rs11.9m from Saif and Rs4m from Salman.
However, the judge remanded the suspects in police custody for three days, directing the IO to produce them on the next date along with an investigation report.