KARACHI - The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday directed the city police chief to submit a detailed report regarding May 12, 2007 cases, until June 22.

A division bench comprising Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice KK Agha was hearing a plea seeking a judicial inquiry into the cases. The petitioner, Iqbal Kazmi, who had withdrawn his petition on November 19, 2007, approached the court after the restoration of the pre-November 3, 2007, judiciary for reopening the case.

During the proceeding, the police submitted a report regarding the cases registered on the carnage of May 12, 2007; the report stated that as many as 54 cases were registered in different police stations. The court rejected the police report and inquired about the update of the cases in the trial courts and also asked the police officials that how many culprits have been arrested so far, the police officials were not able to answer the court. The court directed the CCPO Karachi and AIG legal to submit a complete report regarding the May 12 cases. 

Earlier, the court had directed the provincial prosecutor general to submit a detailed report on the action taken against the people involved in the riots case. More than 50 people were killed on May 12, 2007, in different parts of the metropolis in violence and armed attacks on political parties and lawyers’ rallies that wished to welcome the then chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Chaudhry, who was visiting the city to attend the Sindh High Court Bar Association’s golden jubilee celebrations.

Narrating the incidents of May 12, 2007, Kazmi said in the petition that the then home secretary and police chief had violated the court’s order for providing security to Chaudhry during his visit to Karachi, adding that mobs had laid siege to buildings of the high court and the city courts and manhandled lawyers.

The petition requested the court that an inquiry be conducted under the supervision of a high court judge, cases be lodged against the people involved in the May 12 violence and senior government officials be sacked for their failure to perform their duties in accordance with the law and the Constitution.

It is pertinent to mention here that former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London chief Altaf Hussain, the then home adviser Waseem Akhtar, the then home secretary Ghulam Mohammad Mohtram, the then interior secretary, the then Sindh Rangers director general, the then provincial inspector general of police Niaz Siddiqui, the then Capital City Police officer Azhar Farooqui and the then City Courts police station’s station house officer have been named as respondents in the petition.

The SHC appointed advocates Faisal Siddiqui and Shahab Sarki as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter. The court was informed by the counsels that a larger bench of the high court was hearing the May 12 case.

They said the proceedings could not be concluded due to the imposition of a provisional constitutional order (PCO) in November 2007, adding that the matter was later disposed of by another bench during the PCO, and now the matter was pending since then for revisiting the court orders. A suo motu notice was taken of the riots on the report of the SHC incharge registrar that was submitted before the then high court chief justice Sabihuddin Ahmed.