LAHORE - The Lahore High Court has ruled that police cannot order reinvestigation of a case in which charges have already been framed and challan has also been submitted to the court.

The court also held such act is illegal, the court quoted two cases in which the apex court had laid down a law that police cannot order reinvestigation in a case in which the accused had already been sheeted and challaned.

Imtiaz Ahmad, who is accused of abduction and murder of a man, had moved the petition through his counsel Advocate Shahid Anjum Malik.

The petitioner’s counsel argued that on Dec 23, 2012, Muhammad Yaqoob had lodged FIR No731/2012 under sections 365, 302 PPC with Kotwali Police Station against five unknown persons in abduction and murder of his brother Muhammad Zahid.  

He said on Dec 24, 2012, the complainant in a supplementary statement said that Imtiaz Ahmad abducted his brother Muhammad Zahid and later killed him. Police held investigation and declared him and other accused in the case as innocent, however, the investigation of the case was changed on Jan 17, 2013 through a letter No 245R, SSP/Investigation, he said.

He told the judge that the JIT was constituted to probe into the murder which also declared him innocent and a judicial magistrate had to set him free and he was pleaded not to do so in the meantime.

Complainant Yaqoob filed another application to get the investigation change on which another JIT comprising two DSPs and five other officials was constituted to hold inquiry of the case, the counsel told the judge.

He contended that both the JITs and investigation report by CIA SP Faisalabad had established him innocent in the case. But on January 17, 2013, police issued a letter No 245R, SSP/Investigation to restart investigation, he said. He said that once the challan had been submitted and charges had also been framed then how the reinvestigation was ordered.

The petitioner told the judge that police officials were harassing him and were asking to appear before them while he had already been declared innocent. He requested the judge to set aside police order for re-investigation of the case.

A law officer, however, opposed the arguments of the petitioner’s counsel saying that investigation agency can order investigation at any stage of the case. The trial was not concluded yet, said the law officer. He pleaded the judge to dismiss the petition moved by accused petitioner.

After hearing the arguments of both the parties, Justice Yawar Ali held that under the light of the SC judgments cited in the case, reinvestigation cannot be ordered in a case in which the accused had already been sheeted and challaned.

Muhammad Zahid, a resident of D-Peoples Colony of Faisalabad, left the house for getting his land record registration with local courts, went missing and later found dead three years back in 2012.

Muhammad Yaqoob, his brother, had lodged an FIR No 731/12 with Kotwali Police Station of District Faisalabad against some unknown persons and later get Imtiaz Ahmad included in the case. The matter is prejudice and was fixed before a trial court in District Faisalabad.