Judiciary can't be blamed if police, executive fail in their duty: ATC.

KARACHI -- An antiterrorism court has observed that the courts can only act upon evidence and material presented before the judges and the judiciary cannot be blamed if the 'executive/ police fail in their duty'.

The observation came in the detailed verdict of Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud murder case in which the ATC acquitted all the accused, including former SSP Rao Anwar, for want of evidence.

'Since the sufficient evidence in terms of reliability, cohesion, trustworthiness has not been collected nor produced' in court in the gruesome extrajudicial killing case 'the right of benefit of doubt cannot be withheld even in high profile cases like this one,' ruled the ATC-XVI judge in the detailed judgement.

The judge stated that the courts despite being the main component of the criminal justice system can only act upon evidence and material presented before them, which is to be collected by the executive. 'Courts cannot be blamed if the executive/police fail in their duty. Evidence collected by executive/police must be evaluated according to the laws and rules and judicial standards. Government has to ensure that cogent evidence to support prosecution is collected and presented in the court.'

Judge rules police, prosecution didn't collect and produce 'reliable, trustworthy evidence' in Naqeeb murder case

The five-year-long trial of SSP Rao Anwar and his 17 subordinates over extrajudicial killing of Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud and three others had mainly revolved around the policemen's presence at the scene of crime and time of the staged encounter. However, the prosecution did half job by not fully utilising the modern technology to collect the call data record (CDR) and geo-fencing of cell phones of the policemen as well as the victims.

The ATC-XVI judge in the 43-page judgement wrote that two eyewitnesses - Muhammad Qasim and Hazrat Ali - had initially identified six police officials - Arshad Ali, Abdul Aziz, Shafique Ahmed, Allah Yar, Ghulam Nazuk and Muhammad Iqbal - during an identification parade conducted by a judicial magistrate. But, it had become inadmissible since they had 'improved' their earlier statements recorded to the police under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) when they deposed before the court.

Discussing the admissibility and credibility of the CDR of Rao Anwar and other policemen submitted to the court by the investigating officer, the judge noted that the CDR of accused police constable Shakil, then SSP Rao Anwar...

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