Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Thursday reprimanded the Islamabad police chief over delay in the abduction case of senior journalist Matiullah Jan from the capital last month while rejecting the report submitted by the police.
A three-member bench of the apex court led by the top judge continued hearing the case today. In the last hearing, the SC had summoned details from the police regarding the journalist’s widely-reported abduction.
During the hearing, the top judge lashed out at the police over a lack of progress in the case’s investigation.
“Even a minute spent during an investigation is valuable time,” remarked the judge, asking about any headway in the case.
The chief justice said that the police force is just sitting around in a bureaucratic fashion and sending letters here and there instead of taking concrete action. “We must put an end to this culture,” he added.
The top judge asked the inspector general of police (IGP) to personally “go and sit at the office and remain there until the report is ready”.
He noted that the police “have no clue how to conduct an investigation using modern techniques”.
“It seems you do not wish to teach the force these techniques either,” he said to the IGP, adding: “The same situation persists in all the open cases.”
The chief justice went on to say that the IGP is responsible for every moment spent probing a crime. “An officer’s job is not to sit at the office and warm his seat. His job is to get up, run around, and get things done.”
He lamented that the police force has not even mapped out the crime scene yet.
The chief justice, while rejecting the report, noted that the investigation officer has written to various departments and is awaiting a response. “The officer should himself go down to the relevant offices and obtain information,” he said.
“Time is of the essence in criminal proceedings. If time is wasted, evidence will be rendered inadmissible,” he stressed.
The court ordered the police chief to personally oversee the investigation and sought a progress report in four weeks.
The court also granted Jan four weeks to submit his response in the matter.
Following the chief justice’s remarks, the Attorney General of Pakistan said that he was also not satisfied with the progress report submitted by the police.
“After reading this report, I have taken on aboard NADRA and Federal Investigation Agency and other institutions,” he said.
On July 21, Jan was abducted from outside his wife’s school in G-6 sector, by unknown men. He returned home after being missing for about 12 hours.
The journalist’s abduction came at a time when the apex court was due to resume hearing the contempt of court case based on an allegedly contemptuous tweet by him against the judiciary.