ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday disposed of a petition filed against the detention of a squadron leader by the authorities of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) but directed the PAF to proceed with the trial in this matter strictly in accordance with law.
While deciding the detention case, a single bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui observed that the stance of PAF is ‘shaky and cloudy’. However, the court permitted the PAF authorities to proceed with the trial of the detained squadron leader in accordance with law.
The court issued these directions while hearing the petition of Dr Faiza Hassan, wife of Squadron Leader Hassan Akhtar, who was seeking release of her husband.
The petitioner moved the court through her counsel Col (Retd) Inam-ur-Rahim Advocate and adopted before the IHC that the way PAF authorities detained her husband was not in accordance with the law.
According to the petitioner, PAF authorities detained her husband in November last year while the PAF authorities through a Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Husnain Ibrahim Kazmi claimed that Hassan Akhtar was taken into custody on March 04, 2015.
While replying, the PAF authorities maintained before the court that the Strategic Planning Division (SPD) in late 2014 had informed the PAF that the officer had leaked certain information to the persons who were not authorized to receive such information.
However, the counsel for the petitioner argued that PAF authorities did neither mention any specific date when the SPD passed on information to them, nor did they disclose which sort of material was communicated to the unauthorized persons.
He maintained that under the PAF Act, the accused officer should be given a charge-sheet within 48 hours after the detention but he has not been given any such document so far. There was no provision with the PAF which empower them to detain an official for such a long period without charge sheeting him, Col Inam also argued.
At this juncture, Justice Siddiqui addressing to the DAG said, “When PAF Act allows you to arrest a person by following certain procedure then why this procedure was not followed.” Justice Siddiqui further observed, “Why you want to force the court to exercise its jurisdiction.”
The judge remarked that the stance taken by the PAF was shaky and cloudy and he was surprised to note that the institution like PAF could take such action.
DAG Kazmi informed the court that the officer was taken into custody on March 5 after the through probe of the accusation. After issuing the above said orders, the court disposed of the matter.