ISLAMABAD - The Rawalpindi police on Thursday admitted before the Supreme Court that they had been unable to arrest the murder accused Imtiaz alias Taji Khokhar, the younger brother of former speaker National Assembly Nawaz Khokhar, as the accused were financially influential figures of the area.

The admission by Azhar Hamid Khokhar, former City Police Officer (CPO) Rawalpindi, who has been transferred in Motorway Police, annoyed the court.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heading a three-member bench also comprised Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed said that Azhar Hameed had spoiled the case, adding he gave commitment to the bench that he would arrest the accused in three days, but now presenting excuses.

The chief justice directed Inspector General Punjab Police Aftab Sultan to appoint a competent police officer to investigate the case as the former CPO Rawalpindi had been under the influence of financial position of the accused.

The bench further directed the IGP to make sure the accused already declared proclaimed offenders should be arrested without wasting further time.

Azhar Khokhar appearing before the bench informed that he had been transferred from Rawalpindi.

The bench was hearing a suo moto notice case against police for not arresting the influential accused for killing a 50-year-old woman for fighting a legal battle for her land along side Islamabad Expressway allegedly occupied by Taji.

“You are not capable of carrying out police job as you have spoiled the case of Sabira murder case. Your admission about the status of the accused suggests that the law is subordinate to the rich,” remarked the chief justice responding to the argument of the ex-CPO Rawalpindi.

Iftikhar Chaudhry has taken notice of news items that high police investigators had among others accused a lawyer acting as commission for the court of calling the woman at the disputed plot where she was allegedly gunned down by Taji with the help of his men.

According to the details, it was on August 17 last year the deceased Sabira Bibi, her husband Raja Yaqoob along with the local commission Raja Saimul Haq Satti reached the disputed place measuring five kanal at Dhoke Gangal.

As the commission started taking their statements before assessing the actual situation the armed men of Taji started indiscriminate firing that led to killing of the woman.

A high-level inquiry by Punjab police in December had declared five police officer including DSP Civil Lines, SHO and his staff at Airport Police Station for failing first to safeguard the woman and later to arrest the main accused including Taji and his two sons.

Initially, the question of jurisdiction was raised by the accused as they claimed the areas where alleged murder took place fall in the area of Islamabad police not in the area of Rawalpindi police.

Adjourned the hearing till April 18