SC Karachi Registry to hear Amal Umer case today

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KARACHI : The Supreme Court will hear the case pertaining to the murder of 10-year-old Amal Umer during an alleged police encounter with suspected robbers two months ago.

A three-judge special bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Munib Akhtar will hear the case at SC’s Karachi Registry.

The top court has set up a committee to ascertain those responsible in Amal’s death. The six-member committee — which includes AD Khawaja, the former inspector-general of police (IGP) for Sindh — is headed by Justice (retd) Khilji Arif Hussain.

CJP takes notice

On September 18, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had taken suo moto notice of the minor girl’s death in Karachi’s Akhtar Colony area on August 13.

The child’s bereaved parents had appeared on the morning show and narrated their ordeal of the day they lost their daughter. According to them, the family had just been robbed while they were waiting at a signal when they “heard a gunshot and a bullet suddenly hit our windshield”.

“When I turned, I saw Amal lying in a pool of blood and my other daughter clutching my seat,” Umer had said.

The bullet that hit Amal was had been fired by a police officer, using an AK-47, who was trying to kill the mugger on the eve of Independence Day.

The parents have claimed that the staff at the National Medical Centre (NMC) had refused to help them as it was a “medico-legal case” and asked them to take the child to Jinnah Hospital. They initially did not even help them arrange an ambulance, her mother had added.

“When we asked if we could take the ambu bag along, the NMC staff refused,” she had noted. “My daughter was breathing till we were at NMC.”

The Supreme Court, nevertheless, issued notices to the Advocate General, Secretary of Health, IGP Sindh, and the NMC administrator in this regard.

Conflicting accounts

Sources at NMC conflicted the parent’s version and claimed that the girl had passed away when she was brought to the hospital. Aman Ambulance CEO Shazina Masood, on the other hand, had said they received the first call at 10:32PM, for a duration of 4.5 minutes, and returned the call at 10:42PM, with the ambulance reaching at 10:52PM.

“We just have 60 ambulances to cater to the city and our average response time is from 12 to 14 minutes,” said CEO Aman ambulance service.

Javed Alam Odho, the deputy inspector-general (DIG) for South who also appeared alongside Amal’s parents on Show, had said: “We are aware this wasn’t a routine case.”

The registration of a medico-legal case “is important in case an injury or death occurs, he had explained. “If a medico-legal case is not registered, an investigation cannot take place as we will not have the evidence to present in court.”

Karachi has recently seen a rise in street crimes as well as cases of negligence and carelessness that eventually turn into tragedies.

2018-10-26

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