KARACHI - The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday issued notices to the home department, prosecutor general and others on a plea to transfer the case against suspended SSP Malir Rao Anwar pertaining to implicate Naqeebullah Mehsud and others in fake case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh conducted hearing on a petition filed by Muhammad Khan, father of Naqeebullah Mehsud, seeking to shift the case pertaining to launch a fake FIR against Mehsud and three others for possession of explosives and illegal weapons. The court summoned the respondents sought written explanation, until September 3.

Earlier, the court had issued notices to the same respondents on a prior petition seeking to transfer the murder trial against former Malir SSP Rao Anwar from ATC-II to another court, but the Prosecution General Sindh and other respondents failed to submit their reply. The court has fixed the same date to hear both the petitions.

In his initial arguments, the petitioner’s counsel pleaded to transfer the cases to another trial court, as the trail court had lost its credibility by allegedly providing benefits to the accused party.

The suspended SSP Malir and his police party is facing trail in two cases pertaining to kill Naqeebullah and three others in staged encounter, and another case is to launch a fake FIR against them for possession of explosives and illegal weapons.

A joint investigation team (JIT) had later found that the four had been falsely implicated, with the court later ruling that Mehsud had no extremist tendencies.

Two FIRs were then filed against Anwar one by the police and other by Mehsud’s father for falsely implicating Mehsud. Anwar was granted bail in both the cases.

The petitioner’s counsel has argued that the trail court of ATC was not conducting the trial fairly. He said that they did not trust the ATC court and wanted the case to be shifted to a different court.

Mohammad Khan, father of Naqeebullah, the South Waziristan-native who was murdered in a fake police encounter in January, said in his petition that the key accused Rao Anwar and his subordinates had been booked for murdering his son and three other citizens in a fake encounter in Shah Latif Town on January 13.

He added that the ATC hearing the case was giving undue benefit to the accused by not passing orders on his (the petitioner’s) objections and that he had concerns that the presiding officer of the concerned ATC would not be able to act fairly and impartially while deciding the case.

In his prior arguments, the petitioner’s lawyer, Advocate Faisal Siddiqui said the trial court had developed a bias in favour of Anwar and his subordinate officers, and that bias was apparent from the fact that the presiding officer had to date failed to consider and pass any order on the written objections filed by the applicant.

Siddiqui said it was a settled principle of law that while hearing a bail application, a court should not go into deeper appreciation of evidence, however, the presiding officer of the ATC while going into deeper appreciation of evidence had given a detailed order on the bail application of the main accused and also made statements in his favour. That showed that the judge had already made up her mind regarding the outcome of the extrajudicial murder case, he argued.

The counsel further submitted that one of the prosecution witnesses retracted his statement which proved that Anwar was influencing the proceedings before the trial court and prejudicing his interest in the case.