An anti terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday extended physical remand of Shaheen Air pilot Asmat Mehmood, who crash landed a plane on November 3, for another three days.
Earlier, police produced the accused pilot before ATC-II Judge Khawaja Zafar Iqbal in strict security and sought a six-day extension in physical remand for further investigations. The investigation officer apprised the court that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had been requested to hand over flight recording data and a letter had been written in this regard. He said that the co-pilot was set to record his statement on Tuesday.
However, the counsel for the accused submitted an application for the removal of Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) sections from the FIR arguing that it was an accident. He contended that the aircraft was not in a satisfactory condition and that it was not flight worthy.
He pleaded to the court to remove sections of ATA from the FIR and transfer the case to an ordinary court.
Civil Aviation Authority’s counsel opposed the request for removal of ATA sections and submitted that the accused had endangered lives of 120 people on-board the aircraft. He said that the accused was drunk and his negligence could have resulted in loss of lives of the passengers.
The court after hearing arguments of all the parties extended the remand for another three days and directed the police to produce the accused on expiry of remand term.
Sarwar Road police had registered a case against the pilot under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act on CAA’s complaint.
At least 10 passengers were injured when the plane crash-landed. Carrying 121 passengers and crew, the plane reportedly touched down heavily causing its tyres to burst and the plane skidded off the runway. Passengers suffered minor injuries when hand-carry luggage in overhead cabinets fell on them.