rawalpindi - A court of law yesterday awarded bail to a prisoner who had been languishing in Adiala Jail after his case record went missing from the court.

Magistrate Waqar Mansoor granted bail to Ashiq Masih in a robbery case that was lodged against him with RA Bazaar Police Station on January 17, 1994. The judge observed that the accused had already been in the jail for too long.

He observed that maximum sentence for a robbery case was 14 year jail term. The court also directed Ashiq Masih to furnish surety bond worth Rs 100,000 for his release.

Ashiq Masih, 50, has been in Adiala Jail since September 12, 1996 as seven cases, including a murder case, were registered against him in different police stations of Rawalpindi, Islamabad, and Narowal.

The trial in the robbery case against the accused was supposed to start in August 2015 after he was forgiven by his opponents in the murder case one day before his scheduled execution in Adiala Jail.

The jail authorities informed the district and sessions judge Rawalpindi that Ashiq Masih could not be released as a robbery case was pending against him. The trial could not be started as the official record of the case had gone missing.

Following the court’s direction, RA Bazaar Police had to submit supplementary investigation report against the accused in the robbery case.

According to available details, Ashiq, a native of district Narowal, was convicted in the case of murder of his fiancee on August 3, 2002.

The murder case was registered against him on January 31, 1995. He had also been facing five other cases under charges of attempted murder and robbery.