BHC Judge Narrates Heart-Wrenching Story Of A Prisoner

Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan, the Chief Justice designate Balochistan High Court (BHC) narrated the ordeal of a prisoner


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BHC judge narrates heart-wrenching story of a prisoner

Syed Ali Shah :

The designated Chief Justice Balochistan High Court (BHC), Mr. Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan narrated a heart-wrenching story of a prisoner in Khuzdar jail. A 55-year old man was facing life imprisonment for uncommitted sin.

The CJ designated narrated the ordeal of the man at a function held in the premises of the BHC the other day. The man had no idea that one day justice would knock on his door and he would be acquitted within five minutes. This was beyond his comprehension.

“Can you hear me Judge Sab”, Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan quoted the man behind the bars during his visit to Baluchistan’s Khuzdar Jail. “Why not, I have come to listen to you people”, the judge told the prisoner.

The aged man belonged to Karachi. The designated top judge of the province narrated the ordeal of the man with an objective to pinpoint flaws in the system. Justice Afghan preferred not to mention the name of the prisoner and his lawyer.

A session judge had convicted the man 

“When I went close to him the man started weeping”, the judge recalled. The jail administration informed the visiting judge that the man has been convicted in the narcotics case. A session judge had convicted the man.

“When you do narcotics business, then, there has to be punishment “, the judge told the prisoner. Despite this, the man kept continued weeping, he added.

CJ designate narrates the ordeal 

The Chief Justice-designate said that the niece of the prisoner was married in Quetta but the marriage lasted only one year. “The girl got divorced a year later.” He said that after the divorce, the girl went back to Karachi but an application was filed in the Family Court of Quetta for the return of the dowry given by the father-in-law to the girl’s husband.

When the Family Court ruled in favor of the girl, the onlooker compiled a list of items to be returned and arranged for the goods to be returned to the girl. The Chief Justice said the prisoner said that to transport the dowry, he went to a truck depot in Quetta where the fare was fixed by a truck driver.

It was decided by the truck driver that he would come the next morning and leave for Karachi with the luggage. When the truck arrived the next morning, it was loaded. After packing, the prisoner sat in the front seat with the driver and left for Karachi. When they reached Othel near Karachi, the vehicle was stopped at a check post.

BHC judge narrates heart-wrenching story of a prisoner

Then something happened that was not in the prisoner’s dream.

“The prisoner told me that an officer came and asked who owns the goods, so I said it was mine,” the chief justice said. “We have information that there is hashish in this truck,” the official said. I said no, there is no such thing in it, but the dowry of the girl. Beds, other furniture and bedding, etc.

The detainee said: “They showed the receipt to the officers who came for the search, showed the report of the observer, showed the order of execution but they took me and the driver down.”

Five hundred packets of hashish were hidden in it

“When the back floor of the truck was unloaded after unloading, there were drugs in secret compartments and five hundred packets of hashish were hidden in it.” Police arrested both the driver and the man.

The next, Chief Justice said that the next story was even more bizarre as the investigating officer challaned both the persons and the Sessions Judge sentenced both of them to life imprisonment.

“I told the prisoner that you would not have presented any proof of your innocence, so you were punished,” he said. The detainee said he presented all available documents and other evidence in defense but the judge handed down the sentence.

Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan said that when I asked him when the next hearing of his appeal was in the High Court, he found out that his appeal had not been heard in the High Court for the last three years.

Addressing the lawyers, he said, “It should be kept in mind that I am talking about improving the system.” Naeem Akhtar Afghan said that on his return from Khuzdar, he went to his Chief Justice and told him the story of the man and asked him to hear the case himself. He said he would not name the lawyer but would remember if he was sitting in the venue.

“I got surprised at my fellow judge for convicting a man without solid evidence” 

“When I read the case file on the prisoner at night, there was nothing on every page but his innocence.”  “I got amazed at how my fellow judge convicted him despite the lack of evidence,” he said. The Chief Justice-designate said that he looked at the order sheets of the case to see why it was not heard after an appeal against the sentence was filed in the High Court.

The prisoner’s lawyer was repeatedly found absent on the order sheets. I was also very upset about why the lawyer acted irresponsibly. The next day, when it came to the prisoner’s appeal for a hearing, the lawyer did not return, despite the notice, the chief justice said.

Finally, the lawyer appeared before me 

“I told my staff to call a lawyer and call them wherever they are,” he said. The lawyer appeared before me at half-past twelve. I asked him, “You have a case, why are you doing wrong, why aren’t you prosecuting properly?”

The chief justice-designate said the lawyer’s response was, “This tyrant does not pay my fees.” Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan said he told the prisoner’s lawyer to give him another chance. Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan said he had given the prisoner’s lawyer time to read the case file, but the next day when the lawyer came, “he did not read the file.”

“I acquitted him in five minutes” 

“Since there was no evidence of drug trafficking from this prisoner, I acquitted him in five minutes,” he said. The commitment of the nominated Chief Justice and the question from the lawyers

“It’s a story with a lot of questions and a lot of characters,” the chief justice said. Who cares where what is my responsibility and what is your responsibility.

“I swear I will fulfill my responsibility no matter how many bitter sips I have to take for it,” he said. Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan asked the lawyers, “Tell me, will you fulfill your responsibility or not?”

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