Interior Minister Rehman Malik Monday triggered a new controversy pertaining to the arrest and trial of six Rangers involved in the killing of a youngster in Karachi as he announced to try them under Rangers Act though they were booked under Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).
Senior lawyers, Ikram Chaudhry and Habibul Wahab Elkhairi, were of the view that a person booked under Anti-Terrorism Act could not be tried under Rangers’ Act. Chaudhry said Section 7 of the ATA had been invoked in the said case, the accused were produced before the ATC, they were in police custody and the matter was being investigated by a joint investigation team under the supervision of a senior police official. Under the circumstances it would not be appropriate to try them under Rangers Act.
Elkhairi said it was not possible to try the accused under the Rangers Act as the police were handling the case. However, he added that formal permission could be sought from the Rangers authorities for the trial of the accused officials under the ATA. Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the Upper House of Parliament that the arrested personnel were produced before the court on Monday and sent on two-day remand. Malik said a joint investigation team headed by DIG police was investigating the matter. He added the matter was also before the Supreme Court and was sub judice.