IHC takes intelligence agencies, police to task over missing person case


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) observed that the police officials have more power than the intelligence agencies, however, due to their incompetence; the police cannot exercise their authority properly. Moreover, it held police and the intelligence responsible for not being able to track the whereabouts of the missing person and collect the necessary information for the same.

According to a local media report, this was observed by a two-member division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, while hearing an appeal filed by the federal government against the decision of a single-member bench in a missing person case.

The report further stated that on July 10, Justice Athar Minallah disposed of the petition filed by Mahera Sajid, the spouse of missing IT engineer Sajid Mehmood, after directing the federal government to pay Rs117, 500 per month to the petitioner as a monthly expense since her husband had gone missing due to the negligence of state institutions.

It was reported that judge also held the intelligence agencies responsible for failing “to collect information and promptly report to the concerned functionaries regarding any incident of abduction of a citizen having the characteristics of an ‘enforced disappearance’ and to take effective measures in tracing the whereabouts of the victim”.

Moreover, when the case was taken up again, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Arshad Mehmood Kayani said that a joint investigation team (JIT), comprising officials of ISI, MI, IB and police, was probing the matter.

After the court inquired about the evidence on the basis of which the police investigation had drawn such a conclusion, the officer replied that he had recently been given the case and was “not well aware of the facts”. Furthermore, Justice Kiyani reminded the DAG that the police had all the authority to make the arrest, register an FIR and take custody of any person for an investigation.

“However, it is due to the incompetence of police that they cannot probe matters related to intelligence agencies,” the justice was quoted as saying.

Mehmood was picked from his residence at F-10/1 on March 14, 2016.