Police take Dr Asim into custody as ATC rejects investigation report

KARACHI: The administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts (ATCs), Justice Naimutallah Phulpoto on Monday rejected police’s investigation report that had acquitted Dr Asim Hussain of all terror charges, and ordered that the suspect be presented before ATC-II for further proceedings.

Dr Hussain, who was in NAB custody, has now been handed over to police.

The police report was presented in court by investigation officer (IO) DSP Altaf Hussain, who explained why Dr Asim Hussain was released.

“We did not find any evidence during the course of the investigation,” the DSP told the court.

He said the investigation report was first sent to the concerned SSP for approval, then to the DIG concerned, and was finally approved by police’s legal team.

On Dec 11, police had informed the court that “no terror-related evidence” was found against Dr Hussain under Section 497 (II) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which was why he was not required to be detained.

But in contrast to the police statement, the Rangers prosecutor had contended that enough evidence existed against Dr Hussain to implicate him. The statement of Dr Yousuf Sattar — the managing director of Ziauddin Hospitals — was concrete evidence against Dr Hussain, he had said.

The Rangers prosecutor went on to say that the IO did not consult the Rangers during investigations despite the case being initiated by the paramilitary force.

After Rangers’ staunch opposition to police’s stance, the court had ordered the police IO to submit a report within 10 days demanding an explanation as to why no charges could be established against Dr Hussain under the CrPC.

During today’s hearing, Anwar Mansoor Khan, counsel for Dr Hussain, informed the court he was receiving threats from certain quarters for defending Dr Hussain.

In a statement to the court, Dr Hussain said: “My life is under threat. I have been humiliated by the press, by electronic media. And I am the son of those who played a vital role in the creation of Pakistan.”

He alleged he was facing “personal vendetta” and said all evidence against him was “false.”

The arrest of Dr Hussain, chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission, came on Aug 26 and was described as the first major action against PPP leaders during the ongoing Karachi operation.

Following the end of his 90-day preventive detention with Rangers, police sought multiple extensions in his remand for further questioning and collection of evidence in a case relating to treatment of, and sheltering, terrorists.

After police released him on Dec 11, he was arrested by NAB from the court’s premises and an accountability court later remanded him to the anti-graft body’s custody.

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