Court orders fresh probe into DHA high-rise death case – 20 Sep 2022

KARACHI: A judicial magistrate has returned the interim charge sheet in a case pertainingtothe death of a man who fell from a high-rise building in Defence Housing Authority.

The court directed the SSP-Investigation to appoint a `diligent police officer` not below the rank of DSP to carry out `further investigation` into the incident.

Six friends Syed Muhammad Ammar, Usman Ahmed, Owais, Uzair Ahmed, Ahmed Jamil and Syed Faaz have been booked and arrested over the alleged death of their 26-year-old friend, Adil Masood Khan, on July 31.

Last week, the investigating officer, Abdul Rahim, filed a charge sheet before Judicial Magistrate (South) Mazhar Ali recommending all the detained suspects to be tried for allegedly committing manslaughter of the victim as punishable under Section 322 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Announcing its decision on the charge sheet, the court observed that the IO did not properly investigate the case and, therefore, it needed to be investigated further.

The magistrate pointed out that prosecution witness Syed Tahir Hussain Zaidi, who is the administrative head of the residential project in DHA, in his statement recorded to the police stated that he upon checking the CCTV footage found out that the deceased fell from the building, but, the IO failed to collect the footage from him.

`IO did not even bother to mention the name of PW [prosecution witness] Syed Tahir Hussain Zaidi in the list of calendar witnesses in the charge sheet. It would not be out of place to mention here that the security system of the project must be above standard and there must be CCTV cameras covering each corner of the building but IO has collected only CCTV footage of entrance and exit of the accused persons,` added the magistrate.

`The IO didn`t bother to collect footage of other CCTV cameras covering the place of incident from different angles,` the court said.

The magistrate said that the deceased had allegedly fallen from the 17th floor but the IO failed to mention whether there was any obstruction between the said floor and the ground where he fell as he had received an injury on the right thigh. `The entire case file is silent in respect of the posture, in which the dead body was found by the police, which is material fact of the case. Besides, the IO had not mentioned the height of the balcony,` the court added. The magistrate directed the SSP to appoint a diligent police of ficer to carry out `further investigation` into the incident and submit the investigation report.

A case was registered under Sections 322 (manslaughter) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Darakhshan police station on the complaint of the victim`s sister Varda Masood.

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