Justice for all: jail first, relief later
ISLAMABAD, Nov 1: Former federal minister and leader of the opposition in the Balochistan Assembly Yar Mohammad Rind went to the Supreme Court on Thursday to seek relief but instead he was ordered to go to jail first.
The Supreme Court orders were connected to a Balochistan trial court sentence in absentia.
Rind was sentenced for life in absentia with a fine of Rs50,000 under Sections 6(e) and 7 (e) of the Anti Terrorism Act 1997 on June 28, 2011.
He was charged for abetting in a kidnapping for ransom case registered at the Police Station Sanni (Balochistan) on June 18, 2009.
Rind instituted an appeal before the Balochistan High Court (BHC) which was dismissed on September 19, 2012 because of his non-appearance.
Consequently Rind moved an appeal before the apex court which the court office refused to entertain demanding the presence of the politician first.
Resultantly, Rind appeared in front of the Supreme Court to appeal against the decision, not knowing what awaited him.
“Please have a seat inside the courtroom Rind Sahib, nobody will disturb you,” the chief justice assured.
“We direct that he (Rind) should be taken into custody but his petition for leave to appeal (against the Balochistan High Court order) be entertained and same be fixed on Monday next,” ordered the two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and Justice Jawwad S Khawaja.
The court reminded Rind that in view of an earlier order issued by the court on Wednesday, where three convicts were ordered to be arrested, it was not possible for it to make a distinction.
“Otherwise it would mean making a mockery of the law which we are avoiding,” the chief justice informed.
After getting the orders, the policemen escorted Rind outside the Supreme Court and boarded him in the official car of Sub-Divisional Police Officer of the Police Station Secretariat.
Sources in the police said that senior police officers visited Rind to review the security being provided to Rind, since he is a sitting lawmaker. The Secretariat Police was also asked to remain vigilant, since the Rind tribe had an old enmity with the Raisani tribe.
The court decided to keep the politician at the Police Station Secretariat Islamabad, till the next date of hearing, in view of the apprehensions expressed by Yar Mohammad Rind through his counsel Advocate Akram Sheikh.
Mr Sheikh tried his best to get a favourable order of keeping his client under house arrest at the Sindh House Islamabad but failed.
As a result the counsel filed another application seeking relaxation of the rules because the petitioner appeared in person, when the case was taken up on Thursday.
In its order the apex court decided to consider the plea raised by the petitioner but reminded that the law caste a duty upon the petitioner to follow.