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Fraud case: LHC dresses down officer over delay in challan submission

Prosecutor assures court will develop mechanism to end delay in submission of challans

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday snubbed the director general of Monitoring and Inspection Directorate over three years of delay in non-submission of challan in a fraud case.

Justice Ali Zia Bajwa of the LHC was hearing the case when Director General of Monitoring and Inspection Directorate of Punjab Prosecution Department Sardar Hamza Ali Baloch appeared before the court. “Who is responsible for a man who has been languishing in jails for the last three years?” asked Justice Bajwa while addressing the DG. The DG responded, “Monitoring of submission of challan is not my duty; it is the responsibility of the prosecution department.”

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The reply irked the judge who questioned why he was holding the charge if it was not his duty. “Do you have any idea where you are standing right now and what you are talking about?” the judge asked him again. He snubbed the DG, saying that he should put his glasses into his pocket if he did not want to use them and apprise the court where he served before joining the Monitoring and Inspection Directorate.

On it, he responded, “I’m from PMS service and before it, I served in Punjab Energy Department.” At this, Justice Bajwa asked him another question about his experience in prosecution. “Do you have relevant experience of prosecution?” asked the judge to which he responded that he had served as an executive and judicial magistrate as well. “Any officer who does not take responsibility for his duties does not deserve to remain there,” Justice Bajwa remarked, and directed the DG to submit his written explanation within two hours time.

The court also called the prosecutor general on a short notice, who turned up and apprised the court about the case. “Monitoring of the challan is our responsibility,” the prosecutor general told the court. However, he assured the court that there would be no such complaint again. At this, Justice Bajwa directed the prosecutor general to produce the mechanism to deal with the delay in submission of challans in the courts. Additional Prosecutor General Abdul Samad, who was also present there, said that they did not have any objection over the bail plea of the suspect.

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He apprised the court that in one case, the suspect had undergone 15 months jail and in the second case, the challan was not submitted. “Over three years delay in submission of challan is injustice,” said the APG. At this, Justice Bajwa directed the additional prosecutor general to come up with the recommendations to improve the system of prosecution. Superintendent Camp Jail and SP (Investigation) also appeared before the court. The Superintendent told the court that those police officials who were responsible were booked in a case for committing negligence. The judge remarked that under the police rules, the delay is not permissible the day challan is readied.

“If the concession is considered in the sentence then the suspect had been there in jail for the last four years,” Justice Bajwa further remarked, observing that he would write to the relevant authorities about the judicial magistrate who continued to send him [the suspect] to jail on judicial remand. The court allowed bail of the suspect and directed the authorities concerned for his medical examination. Imran Khan, the suspect, was booked in different cases including fraud and confiscation of citizens’ passports with Hanjarwal police station.



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