Officer arrested for influencing investigation of 'honour killing' case

A division bench of the Sindh High Court's Hyderabad circuit on Wednesday ordered the arrest of an Investigating Officer (IO) for receiving a bribe in a case of 'honour killing' in Badin.

The court handed the custody of the officer to the anti-corruption establishment and ordered a case to be registered against him. It also ordered departmental action against the inspector and a sub-inspector of police for criminal negligence in the case.

The petitioner, Atta Mohammad Leghari, requested the formation of a joint investigating team (JIT) to probe the murder of his son, Abbas Leghari, and Heer, the girl Abbas wanted to marry, since the investigation in the case had been compromised because of the actions of the investigating officers.

Regarding the case, Atta said that the couple had decided to marry against the will of Heer's family but were murdered before it could be solemnised.

Heer’s brother, Nawab Ali Leghari, had lodged a first information report (FIR) against deceased Abbas’ brother, Mohib Leghari, for killing the couple.

Atta had then filed an application before a Badin sessions judge under Section 22-A of the Criminal Procedures Code, seeking the registration of an FIR, which was lodged on July 17.

The investigation of the two FIRs was entrusted to Deputy Superintendent Police (DSP) Tandojam Aleem Lashari on July 19 under directives of the deputy inspector general (DIG) of police, Hyderabad. However, the investigation of both cases was later transferred to Inspector Jiandal Shah on July 21 under another order of the DIG, the petitioner said.

The petitioner alleged that Shah kept demanding a bribe from him to clear his son in the FIR 80/17 — filed by the girl's brother — and to report on FIR 91/17 — filed by the petitioner — properly. Atta said that he paid Rs85,000 to Shah and that the inspector had also demanded a bribe from the accused nominated by him.

Meanwhile, a judicial magistrate (JM) in Matli had directed Shah to submit a final report for both cases, Atta Mohammad said. A final report was subsequently filed on Aug 5, with the accused in both cases being deemed 'untraceable' despite five men being nominated by Atta, the petitioner's counsel said.

The court on Wednesday directed SSP Hyderabad to personally investigate the matter and submit a report before the court. Ordering the action to be completed within one month, the court also ruled that any order passed by JM-I in the case shall not be binding upon SSP Hyderabad, who shall conduct his investigation without being influenced by the order.

DIG Police Hyderabad range was also directed to proceed against inspector Jiandal Shah and sub-inspector Mehboob Alam Pahore — who had submitted an interim challan regarding FIR 80/17 — for criminal negligence, fix responsibility and take departmental action against them.

It also ordered the inquiry proceedings of both cases to be shifted to JM-II, since the petitioner had expressed reservations over JM-I hearing the case.

Adjourning the case for four weeks, the court issued notice to Nawab Ali Leghari, the complainant of FIR 80/17, to appear before the court.

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