Islamabad: Bahria Town Car Race Case Tycoon still not out of woods

Islamabad: Bahria Town car race Tycoon still not out of woods
ISLAMABAD, Monday, February 28, 2011: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the compromise statement submitted to it on behalf of the heirs of drag car race victims pardoning three accused involved in the incident that claimed the lives of five spectators.

A three judge bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Muhammad Sair Ali and Justice Ghulam Rabbani while hearing the case did not approve of the compromise statement of Ms Tahira Qaiser, mother of one of the deceased, submitted by senior counsel Hamid Khan.

Car Race Case - SC proceedings on Feb 28, 2011

Car Race Case - SC proceedings on Feb 28, 2011

The race was held in Bahria Town on December 5, 2010, although the authorities did not give permission for it.
The chief justice expressed shock over how a flawed compromise was given effect by Rawalpindi Additional Sessions Judge Chaudhry Aurangzeb when it was recorded before him and warned of referring a judicial order to the chief justice Lahore High Court for initiating a disciplinary action against the judge.
The compromise statement not only mentioned that the mother of the victim had forgiven all the accused namely Chief Executive Bahria Ahmed Ali Riaz, Senior Manager Waleed Eman who organised the event without permission and Security Incharge Col (retired) Rafaqat but it also gave a clean chit to the accused by declaring him innocent.
The statement led the chief justice to take exception by asking how the heirs could declare the accused innocent when it was the job of the investigating agency. The compromise always means a confession that could entail conviction under the law, the chief justice emphasized.
However, in its order the court avoided passing any adverse stricture against the sessions’ judge though it asked the judge to act in accordance with the law without being influenced by the present proceedings in the Supreme Court.
The court ordered Hamid Khan, the counsel representing the Bahria Town, to complete the legal requirement before reaching a fresh compromise.
Advocate General Khawaja Haris conceded before the court that the agreement was not reached in proper manner and that it was for the third time that the court had highlighted discrepancies in the way the compromise was being reached.
Khawaja Haris also accepted that the PTCL was also directly involved in the incident because it ran advertisements in the print media ignoring the fact that no formal permission for the event was granted by the authorities.
Investigating Officer Maj (retired) Mubashirullah assured the court that the police would be proceeding against all the sponsors including the PTCL, PSO and the GM Securities.
About Atif Sheikh, one of the organisers of the event who applied for the No Objection Certificate (NOC) to hold the rally, and also the son-in-law of former principal secretary,Tariq Aziz, of former President Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf, the FIA informed the court through a report that red warrants had been issued and efforts were being made to bring him back.
Measures are also being taken to impound his passport, the court was told.
The case will be taken up again after three weeks.

(Published in Daily Dawn on March 1, 2011)


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