RAWALPINDI - Police booked a Member of National Assembly (MNA) and Senator of Khyber PakhtoonKhwa (KP) in a land grabbing case but are reluctant to arrest the accused owing to political pressure, reliable sources confided to The Nation on Thursday. The investigators said the accused enjoy immunity and police cannot even touch the politicians without written permission of Speaker National Assembly and Chairman Senate. However, the city’s top legal minds said that law of the land provides no immunity to any politician involved in cognizable offence.

According to sources, a lady namely Nishta Bibi lodged a complaint with Police Station (PS) Airport stating that she bought a precious piece of land measuring 28 kanals at the High Court Road which was illegally grabbed by an MNA from NA-31 KP Bilal-ur-Rehman and Senator Hilal-ur-Rehman. She said that the both politicians had also roped her husband Anwar Khan, who once had good relations with the MPs in a fake case of lobbing a cracker at their (politicians) home in Peshawar. She mentioned that her husband has been languishing in jail for a crime he never committed. She appealed to police to lodge a case against the land grabbers and arrest them.

Police, while taking action, filed case (number 161) on 16/2/2015 under sections 511/448/148/149 and 506 (2) of Pakistan Penal Court (PPc), sources informed. A Sub Inspector Muhammad Arshad, who is also in-charge of Gulraiz Police Chowky, has been appointed as Investigation Officer (IO) of the case, who could not even call the politicians for cooperating with police in investigation, sources informed.

When approached, SI Muhammad Arshad asked as to who had leaked this information to you. He then said that both the accused were elected representatives as one of them was an MNA and another was a Senator. He added that police could not even touch them without prior permission of Speaker National Assembly and Chairman Senate Pakistan. “Don’t even think so that police will nab the sitting MNA and Senator no matter what crime they had committed,” SI said. He, however, said that he had initiated legal process for getting permission from speaker and chairman Senate for calling both legislators to come to Rawalpindi and take part in police investigation.

On the other hand, a senior Supreme Court of Pakistan lawyer Sardar Asmat Ullah Khan when phoned for getting his legal point about the case, categorically denied the stance of police that they could not arrest the public elected representatives under the law of the land.

“All those who commit cognizable offences and police register FIR against them can be arrested under the normal law,” he said, adding that no citizen of Pakistan was above the law. He said, “Yes the Parliament Rules of Business gives some relaxation to its members but in some political matters not in all the cognizable offences,” Sardar Asmat Ullah Khan went on to saying that police were usually reluctant to arrest the accused in such cases involving politicians apparently on pressure of political bigwigs and top guns of police and interior ministry.  Many other lawyers, while talking to The Nation, also put their weight behind the legal point of view of Sardar Asmat Ullah Khan, saying no law provides relaxation to a person who commits cognizable offense.