Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) yesterday reserved its decision over maintainability of a writ petition seeking court’s directions to put name of US diplomat Colonel Joseph Emmanuel on Exit Control List (ECL) for killing a young motorcyclist in a road accident.

 A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of this matter and issued notices to Interior Secretary, Inspector General (IG) Islamabad police and SHO Kohsar police station directing them to submit their reply in the matter. 

The petition was moved by Muhammad Idrees father of deceased Ateeq Baig through his counsel Mirza Shahzad Akbar Advocate and cited Colonel Joseph, Inspector General (IG) Islamabad Police, Chief Commissioner, federal government through Prime Minister, Secretary Interior and SHO police station Kohsar as respondents.

 Ateeq was killed in an accident on April 7 when Joseph’s vehicle hit his motorbike at the Margalla intersection.  Joseph is a citizen of the United States of America who is currently employed in Pakistan as air defense attaché at US Embassy in Pakistan and nominated accused in FIR No 168/208 lodged by the complainant.

 The petitioner added that Joseph continues to reside in Pakistan but is trying to flee the country. He added that since the accident took place in broad daylight at the intersection of Margalla Road where Safe City Project cameras are functioning, vivid video footage of the accident is available. This video footage has been widely shared on electronic and social media.

Petitioner’s counsel Miza Shahzad adopted in the petition that the video footage clearly shows that the petitioner’s son was killed on account of speeding and violation of traffic law by Colonel Joseph Emmanuel. According to by-standers, the accused also appeared to be intoxicated.

He maintained that because the accident took place in heart of the capital city, Traffic Police Officials reached the site immediately and recognized that the evidence showed that the accused is guilty of cognizable offences. However, instead of arresting the accused, they allowed him to leave the site once he informed them that he was an employee of the United States Embassy in Islamabad. “It is important to point out that the police officials did not subject the accused person to a “breath test” or made any effort to collect his blood sample or urine sample which would provide conclusive evidence about whether he was driving while drunk,” said the petition.

According to the lawyer, till the filing of this writ, the police has made no effort whatsoever to conclude investigation of FIR No. 168/2018 according to law and trace and arrest the accused whom the police itself.   

Petitioner said that there is a clear danger that the accused is trying to leave the country in order to evade investigation by the police.

He added that despite this danger, the Federal Government has not put the accused on the Exit Control List.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to direct SHO, IG and Chief Commissioner to ensure that fair and transparent investigation is conducted with regard to the allegations contained in FIR No. 168/2018.

He also requested the court to direct them to complete the investigation of this case at the earliest and submit police report under Section 173 Cr.PC (challan) before competent court at the earliest and conduct disciplinary proceedings against those police officials who were responsible for the illegalities alleged in this Petition.

 He pleaded the court to direct Chief Commissioner to submit a report to this court regarding the investigation and fate of similar incidents involving the death of Pakistani citizens by violent driving of foreign diplomats in Islamabad.