October 01, 2019
The case pertaining to the murder of TV anchorperson Mureed Abbas and another person allegedly by their business partner took another turn on Monday, with an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Karachi ruling that the case did not fall within the meaning of ‘terrorism’.
The ATC-I judge thus transferred the case to the District South sessions court for conducting the trial of a detained suspect, Atif Zaman, in the double murder.
Police had booked and arrested Zaman for allegedly killing his two business partners — Abbas and Khizar Hayat — in Khayaban-i-Bukhari, DHA, on the night of July 9.
Earlier, Judicial Magistrate (South) Abdul Raqeeb Tunio had referred the case to the administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts on August 20 for further trial, observing that the matter fell within the ambit of terrorism.
The magistrate had accepted the charge sheet filed by the investigating officer, who had incorporated Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, in addition to the charge of murder.
On Monday, the ATC judge pronounced his verdict on an application moved by Atif Zaman seeking the transfer of the case to the sessions court.
The judge ruled that the motive behind the murder, according to the FIR, appeared to be a dispute between the parties on account of an investment of the deceased with the suspect. He further declared that the incident did not cause any sense of terror in the society, and therefore it did not fall within the meaning of terrorism.
The judge allowed the suspect’s application for transfer of the case to the sessions court concerned.
Two cases were registered against him at the Darakhshan police station — one under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the ATA, 1997, on a complaint of Abbas’s wife, and the other for attempting to commit suicide.
Separately, police have also lodged an arms case against him.