THE HIGH COURT OF SINDH AT KARACHI
Present: Mr. Justice Abdul Maalik Gaddi
Justice Mrs. Rashida Asad
Cr. Bail Application No.1574 of 2020
Cr. Bail Application No.1624 of 2020
Cr. Bail Application No.1700 of 2020
Cr. Misc. Application No.386 of 2020
Applicant (in Cr. Bail : Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta son of
Appln. No.1574/2020) Muhammad Saalim, through M/s.
Adnan Memon and Jam Habibullah, Advocates.
Applicant (in Cr. Bail : Naresh Kumar son of Gurdas Lal @
Appln. No.1624/2020) KG, through Mr. Shahab Usto,
Applicant (in Cr. Bail : Naresh Kumar @ Jani son of
Appln. No.1700/2020) Shaman Lal, through M/s. Shoukat
Hayat and Abdul Hafeez Sandhu, Advocates.
Applicant (in Cr. Misc. : Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta son of
Appln. No.386/2020) Muhammad Saalim, through M/s.
Adnan Memon and Jam Habibullah, Advocates.
Respondent : The State/FIA through Mr. Irfan
Ahmed Memon, Deputy Attorney General along with I.O/Inspector Sanaullah, FIA, CBC, Karachi.
Dates of hearing : 16th, 23rd, 30th November 2020
Date of order : 08th December 2020
Abdul Maalik Gaddi, J. – By this common order, we intend to decide the captioned bail applications along with criminal miscellaneous application as they relate to same incident and crime.
2. Through these bail applications, applicants seek post arrest bail in Crime No.4 of 2020 registered at Police Station FIA, CBC, Karachi, under Sections 420/468/471/477-A/109, PPC read with Section 512, Cr.P.C., 3/4 of Anti Money Laundering Act, 2010 read with Ordinance No.IX of 1984 (Offence in Banks). Prior to filing these bail applications, applicants approached to the trial Court for grant of same reliefs, which were declined vide orders dated 08.10.2020, 15.10.2020 respectively, whereas, through criminal miscellaneous application, applicant Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta son of Muhammad Saalim has also challenged the order dated 18.09.2020 passed by the learned Presiding Officer of Special Court (Offences in Banks) Sindh at Karachi, whereby the Presiding Officer of the trial Court took the cognizance against accused persons. For the sake of convenience, it would be appropriate to reproduce the relevant portion of the said order, which reads as under:-
“It is established law that findings of investigation officer are not binding on the courts and a trial court has a legal competence under law to discard the report of investigation officer, if the court satisfies regarding involvement of accused in the case or the investigation officer failed to collect evidence/statement of material witnesses. It is premature on the part of investigation officer to seek for discharge of accused only on the basis of forensic report which is only a report of an electronic device. This court is not satisfied with the 4th Charge Sheet submitted by the investigation officer. Let the charge be framed against the accused persons. The Director FIA is directed to conduct enquiry against the investigation officer Fareed Ahmed Khan within one month after receipt of this order. Copy of this order be sent to DG FIA.
3. The FIR was lodged by complainant SI Zahoor Ahmed Bajkani of FIA CBC Karachi, dated 23.02.2020. The text of the FIR is reproduced herein below:--
“Consequent upon enquiry No.47/2020 of FIA CBC Karachi, registered in this circle on tip of information that accused persons namely Mahendar Kumar son of Roop Lal, Naresh Kumar son of Gurdas Lal alias KG and Naresh Kumar son of Shaman Lal alias Jani are indulged in operation of benami accounts, money laundering and parallel banking practices. All accused persons are in liason with international accomplices by virtue of Internet Web Portals to manage/operate accounts and ledgers to cheat the general public. The accused persons have also opened various benami accounts with all commercial banks to camouflage the nature of ill-gotten funds under garb of dummy business in connivance with Bankers.
In this connection a search raid was scheduled to secure the evidences meanwhile it was learnt that Anti-Violent Crime Circle Karachi has taken into custody of accused Mahendar Kumar, Naresh Kumar alias KG and Naresh Kumar alias Jani in FIR No.12/2020 under anti-gambling laws. In this regard, undersigned along with FIA Team proceeded to P.S AVCC Karachi vide Roznamcha Entry No.5 dated 22.02.2020 for obtaining necessary information in instant enquiry where it was learnt that accused persons are being bailed out by I.O of Case being bail able offence. Hence, accused persons were taken into the custody by undersigned vide AVCC Roznamcha entry No.45 dated 22.02.2020 under provisions of Section 5(2) of FIA Act 1974 where there were reasons to believe that accused persons will damage the crucial evidences connected with instant matter. The Accused person along with their following mobile phone and Laptop were taken to P.S FIA CBC Karachi and were placed under interview;
1. IPhone 11 Pro bearing IMIE No.i. 35324610235924 ii. 353246102337807
2. IPhone Pro Max bearing IMEI No.i. 353894100462968 ii. 353894100340374
3. Samsung Galaxy Fold bearing IMEI No.i. 354261101043982 ii. 354264101043980
4. Vertu Mobile bearing IMEI No. 35116060101081
5. Laptop Dell
6. IPhone 7 bearing IMEI 355327082617307
7. Samsung Galaxy S10 bearing IMEI No.i. 351910103458118 ii. 351911103458116
In the light of interview and scrutiny of evidences in mobile phones and laptop revealed that accused persons are maintaining various benami accounts with UBL, MCB, ABL, HMB, JS Bank, BAHL, FAYSAL BANK, BAF, in order to camouflage finances to defame/sabotage ongoing Pakistan Super League Cricket Event in collusion with International Racket. The Whatsapp conversations, images, Documents, Deposit Slips available in Mobile Phones of accused persons proves the illegal acts of accused persons in crimes falling under 420, 468, 109 PPC R/w 3/4 of AML Act-2010s. The accused person are in liason with UAE Based National Lal Chand who facilitates the accused persons through Web Portals and Ravi Kumar son of Roop Lal (Brother of Mahendar Kumar) who manage the finances for money Laundering, Lal Chand manages the affairs through his local agents namely, Lal, Gul and others. Funds transfer is done through Hawala Merchants which will be investigated during course of investigation. The accused persons also revealed the names of their other accomplices as Umesh Kumar son of Har Kishan Das, Sushil Kumar son of Har Kishan Das, Dilip Kumar son of Har Kishan Das, Aftab Ahmed son of Abdur Rauf, Jabbar, Ameen alias Pan Mandi son of Muhammad Ameen, Muhammad Faisal alias Bafela son of Ghulam Hussain, Sajid alias Bond, Waqas alias Prince and others.
Hence, this case is accordingly registered against accused persons namely (i) Mahendar Kumar son of Roop Lal holding CNIC No.43101-4633424-9, (ii) Naresh kumar KG son of Gurdas Lal holding CNIC No.43101-9926080-5, (iii) Naresh Kumar Jani son of Shaman Lal holding CNIC No.43503-036854-5, (iv) Lal Chand of diamond exchange, (v) Ravi Kumar son of Roop Lal under Section 420, 468, 468, 109, PPC read with 3/4 of AML Act-2010. The accused person Mahendar son of Roop Lal have been arrested. The role of bankers and suspects will be determined during the course of investigation. Investigation of the case has been transferred to Inspector Fareed Ahmed Khan.
Zahoor Ahmed Bajkani
FIA, CBC, Karachi”
4. Mr. Adnan Memon, learned Counsel for applicant Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta, argued that applicant is innocent and has been falsely implicated in this case by the complainant due to ulterior motives; that no date and time except year 2017 onwards of the occurrence is mentioned in the FIR, however, FIR was lodged on 23.02.2020 after the delay of about three years for which no explanation has been furnished by the prosecution, as such, according to him, false implication of the applicant in this case with due deliberation and consultation could not be ruled out; that name and specific role of applicant has not been mentioned in FIR; that not a single private witness in his 161, Cr.P.C. statement has been deposed against the applicant; that the applicant is a well reputed businessman and running registered company in the name as “Khan Sahab Badshah Khan and Company” duly incorporated/registered with SECP, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Pakistan Engineering Council; that above named company of applicant is operating since last many years and has been constructed number of huge government projects including Airports, developments projects with Ministry of Defence, contracts of Municipal Government worth billions of rupees; that no benami account is maintained by the applicant nor any loss has been caused to any bank or any person; that applicant’s company is a Major contractor with Pakistan Defence Officers Housing Authority and deduction of income tax is done by them and deposited with the FBR which is in millions of rupees; that the applicant has no connection with any of co-accused and there is not a single transaction made through the accounts of applicant for which statement of banks accounts are proof; that during investigation, the investigating officer of the case exonerated the applicant (Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta), but the trial Court did not accept the report and took the cognizance against this applicant; that co-accused Faisal Ghulam Hussain, Muhammad Sajjad and Ahmed Armaghan Haneef Shaikh have already been granted bail by this Court vide order dated 28.09.2020, as such following the rule of consistency, the applicant also deserves the same concession as the case of applicant is on better footing than the case of co-accused persons, who have already granted bail. He further submits that since no evidence is on record against this applicant, therefore, the proceedings against this applicant may also be quashed. In support of his contentions, learned Counsel has relied upon the following case laws:-
(i) Asfandyar and another v. Kamran and another reported as 2016 SCMR 2084;
(i) Dr. Waqar Saeed and others v. The State and others reported as 2020 P.Cr.L.J. 902.
5. Mr. Shahab Usto, learned Counsel for applicant Naresh Kumar argued that applicant is innocent and has been falsely implicated in this case by the complainant due to ulterior motives; that no date and time except year 2017 onwards of the occurrence is mentioned in the FIR, however, FIR was lodged on 23.02.2020, as such, according to him, false implication of the applicant in this case with due deliberation and consultation could not be ruled out; that applicant is duly registered with Federal Board of Revenue and is active taxpayers and is also filing income tax returns paying a handsome income tax to government of Pakistan; that it is matter of record that applicant was firstly arrested in FIR No.12/2020 on 21.02.2020 by CIA/AVCC and while he was under custody of that police station, inquiry officer Mr. Zahoor Ahmed Bajkani Sub-Inspector FIA had taken over custody of applicant on 22.02.2020 and showed him arrested in the above case on 23.02.2020. This all act of the inquiry officer is also against the law and the settled principles of law; that the applicant is in jail for the last eight months and no substantial progress has been made by the trial Court in trial; that no benamidar has come forward to state that any account was opened and operated by the accused in their names. Further, no any loss has been caused to any bank or any private person. Moreover, the prosecution witnesses in their statement recorded under Section 161, Cr.P.C., have not deposed against the present applicant, as such, on this score, the case of applicant requires further probe; that co-accused Faisal Ghulam Hussain, Muhammad Sajjad and Ahmed Armaghan Haneef Shaikh have already been granted bail by this Court vide order dated 28.09.2020, as such following the rule of consistency, the applicant also deserves the same concession as the case of applicant is on better footings than the case of co-accused persons, who have already granted bail. In support of his arguments, he has relied upon the following case laws:-
(i) Khawaja Salman Rafique and another v. NAB through Chairman reported as PLD 2020 SC 456;
(ii) Khadim Hussain v. The State reported as 1983 SCMR 124;
(iii) Gulab Khan v. Chairman NAB and another reported as 2020 SCMR 285;
(iv) Rahat Ali v. The State reported as 2010 SCMR 584;
(v) Dr. Aftab Ali Malik v. Dr. Shahbaz Hanif and another reported as 2018 P.Cr.L.J 807 Islamabad;
(vi) Muhammad Safeer and another v. The State and others reported as 2017 P.Cr.L.J 1435 Lahore;
(vii) Shahzada Khan v. The State reported as 2020 YLR 1048;
(viii) Nasrullah v. The State reported as 2020 YLR 693;
(ix) Aman-ul-Haq v. The State reported as 2020 P.Cr.L.J. 145;
(x) Khursheed v. The State reported as 2020 MLD 352;
6. Mr. Shoukat Hayat, learned Counsel for applicant Naresh Kumar @ Jani, argued that the applicant is innocent and no specific allegation for commission of offence has been alleged against him; that no prosecution witness has been deposed against applicant in their statements under Section 161, Cr.P.C.; that there is no allegations against the applicant either in shape of document or the statement recorded by the investigating officer of the prosecution witnesses during investigation; that co-accused Faisal Ghulam Hussain, Muhammad Sajjad and Ahmed Armaghan Haneef Shaikh have already been granted bail by this Court vide order dated 28.09.2020, as such following the rule of consistency, this applicant is also entitled for same treatment; that earlier bail application of present applicant was dismissed by this Court as well as Hon’ble Supreme Court and directions were issued to the trial Court to conclude the trial within the period of three months but according to him, despite the expiry of three months, only two prosecution witnesses have been examined out of more than forty witnesses, therefore, he was of the view in non-compliance of the order of this Court by the trial Court and in view of fresh grounds as agitated by him in the memo of bail application, this applicant is entitled for bail. In support of his arguments, he has relied upon the following case laws:-
(i) Gulab Khan v. The State reported as 2020 SCMR 285;
(ii) Khalid Mehmood v. The State reported as 2020 SCMR 434;
(iii) Amir Masih v. The State reported as 2013 SCMR 1059;
(iv) Muhammad Nawaz v. The State reported as PLD 2008 (SC) 438;
(v) Amir Masih v. The State reported as 2013 SCMR 1524;
(vi) Muhammad Younas v. The State reported as 2001 P.Cr.L.J 157;
(vii) Maryam Nawaz Sharif v. NAB reported as PLD 2020 (Lah) 205;
(viii) Sheraz v. The State reported as 2017 P.Cr.L.J 561;
(ix) Saeed Ahmed v. The State reported as 1996 SCMR 1132;
(x) Hakim Hussain v. The State reported as 2019 YLR 1362;
(xi) Ch. Shujat Hussain v. The State reported as 1995 SCMR 1249;
7. On the other hand, Mr. Irfan Ahmed Memon, learned Deputy Attorney General for Pakistan, assisted by Investigating Officer, while opposing these bail applications, except bail plea of applicant Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta, argued that the bail pleas of the present applicants have been rejected by this Court and the bail plea of the applicant Naresh Kumar alias Jani has been rejected by Hon’ble Supreme Court and the bail granted to the co-accused persons namely, Faisal Ghulam Hussain, Muhammad Sajjad, Ahmed Armaghan Haneef Shaikh by this Court vide order dated 28.09.2020 is on different footings and further submitted that trial has commenced and two witnesses have been examined by the trial Court. During the course of arguments, he referred to us towards various documents available on record and submitted that in view of the documents on record, sufficient evidence is available against them, except applicant Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta, therefore, he has recorded his no objection, if the bail may be granted to the applicant Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta, however, he opposed for the quashment of FIR against this applicant. In support of his contentions, learned Deputy Attorney General has relied upon the following case laws:-
(i) Muhammad Ali v. Additional I.G. Faisalabad and others reported as PLD 2014 SC 753;
(ii) Nadeem Akhtar Butt v. The VIth Judicial Magistrate Malir, Karachi and another reported as 2017 MLD 1993;
8. We have heard learned Counsel for the parties at a considerable length and have gone through the case papers so made available before us.
9. It is noted that the bail applications of present applicants/accused have been rejected by this Court on merits vide order dated 05.05.2020. The said order was challenged before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan by the applicant namely, Naresh Kumar @ Jani son of Shaman Lal along with another co-accused for grant of bail in Criminal Petitions No.605 and 651 of 2020, which were too dismissed vide order dated 13.07.2020. For the sake of convenience, it would be appropriate to reproduce the paragraphs No.5 and 6 of said order, which reads as under:-
“5. To the extent of the impugned, no illegality having been shown, thus, we find no reason as to why the present bail petitions should be allowed, for that, there is no material on the basis of which the bail could be granted to the petitioners. On the other hand, as noted by the trial Court as well as High Court, there is prima facie material on the basis of which it can be found that petitioners were involved in the commission of crime as alleged in the FI.
6. We may, however, note that in case any fresh material or ground becomes available to the petitioners, the petitioners came always approach the trial Court for grant of bail on such material/ground which will be dealt with and decided in accordance with law.
Both the petitions in the above terms are dismissed.”
10. We have perused the record with the able assistance of learned Counsel for the applicants as well as learned Deputy Attorney General for Pakistan and noted that applicants have been specifically nominated in FIR with specific role, except applicant Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta. Nothing on record that complainant and investigating officer have any ill will/malafide with the applicants to falsely implicate them in this case. The delay in lodging of FIR has been properly explained. The case of the prosecution in brief is that applicants Mahendar Kumar son of Roop Lal, Naresh Kumar son of Gurdas Lal and Naresh Kumar son of Shaman Lal were indulged in operation of benami accounts, money laundering and parallel banking. The accused persons were in the liason with international accomplices through internet web portals to manage/operate accounts to cheat general public. The accused persons had also opened various benami accounts with commercial banks to camouflage the ill-gotten funds under garb of dummy business in connivance with bankers. They in order to camouflage finance to defame/sabotage recent (ongoing) Pakistan Super League Cricket event in collusion with international racket. They were in liason with UAE based national Lal Chand who facilitate the accused through web portal and Ravi Kumar son of Roop Lal managed the finance for money laundering. Lal Chand managed the affairs through his local agents Lal, Gul and others. The funds were transferred through Hawala merchants. The accused persons also revealed the names of their accomplices as Omesh Kumar son of Har Krishan Das, Sushil Kumar son of Har Krishan Das, Dilip Kumar son of Har Krishan Das, Aftab Ahmed son of Abdur Rauf, Jabbar Ameen alias Pan Mandi son of Muhammad Ameen, Muhammad Faisal alias Befla son of Ghulam Hussain, Sajid alias Bond, Waqas alias Prince and others.
11. We have also noticed that during investigation, investigating officer of the case arrested seven accused persons. From their possession, mobile phones, laptops, cheque books, bank accounts deposit slips, remittance applications forms and other documents were recovered in presence of mashirs, who have no inimical terms with the applicants, prima facie, shows their involvement in the case, which appears to be serious and heinous in nature and also sabotage the soft image of the country.
12. Police papers on record shows that accused Mahendar Kumar, Naresh Kumar son of Gurdas Lal and Muhammad Faisal alias Bufela are based in UAE operating the web portals mentioned in the charge sheet. Accused Mahender Kumar is maintaining an account at MCB Zamzama branch, he withdrawn amount of Rs.125,00,000/- on 25.06.2019 and deposited in his newly opened account on 26.06.2019 in the same branch for the purpose of amnesty scheme. The absconding accused Kumar Lal opened account on 24.05.2019 at MCB Zamzama branch which was being operated by accused Mahendar Kumar with fake signatures of account holder, accused Mahendar Kumar was also using nine other accounts for the same purpose, he was working as front man of absconding accused Kumar Lal. Accused Noman Ali GBO shared third party account information to accused Mahendar Kumar, the screen shots of signature card of Kumar Lal were shared by Noman Ali with accused Mahendar Kumar, the print out of which was recovered from the residence/bungalow of accused Mahendar Kumar, which information was used for illegal business. The absconding accused Kumar Lal had travelled abroad and at the time of presenting twelve cheques from 31.07.2019 to 01.10.2019 was not available in Pakistan, due to difference in signature on presented cheques these were returned by the accused bankers in order to save themselves for the purpose of obtaining fresh signatures of account holder. These cheques were presented after affixing fake signatures of account holder Kumar Lal alias Ravi Kumar by Mahendar Kumar who withdrawn the amount by himself or through his rider. PW Haresh Kumar in his statement under Section 161, Cr.P.C. has stated that since 04.02.2019 to 31.01.2020 accused Mahendar Kumar deposited Rs.182 millions generated from the unknown sources in his nine different accounts being maintained at Kandhkot branch where he rarely visited. Under the direction of accused Mahendar Kumar, he transferred amount of Rs.177 millions through cheques or cash to different bank accounts which were provided to him by accused Mahendar Kumar for unknown purpose, although, he has no business. He has also stated that he has no business with Mahendar Kumar and he has no concern with persons in whose accounts the amounts were credited. As per record, dubious transactions in different bank accounts of Mahendar Kumar was approximately Rs.5 billion. There was no business record found and transactions were not matching with KYC of the bank account or reflected in income tax returns. Accused Naresh Kumar son of Gurdas Lal and Naresh Kumar son of Shaman Lal in connivance with accused Mahendar Kumar made heavy transactions through their bank accounts and they failed to provide evidence of their physical business with each other against these transactions.
13. As far as the forensic report submitted by the Office of the Deputy Director Forensic Cyber Crime Zone, Federal Investigating Agency, during the hearing of bail applications, is concerned, it reveals that these are interim reports final conclusion has not yet been made, therefore, at this stage without recording of evidence these cannot be safely relied upon in favour of either side.
14. It has vehemently been argued by the learned Counsel for the applicants that in this matter more than forty witnesses, trial Court has examined only two witnesses, although according to them, three months’ time were granted to the trial Court to conclude the trial and in non-conclusion of trial within specific time, the applicants have been deprived for fair trial and they are in jail since their arrests, therefore, on this ground, they are entitled for bail. Learned Counsel for accused Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta submitted that at present no evidence is against him, therefore, the FIR may be quashed only to the extent of applicant Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta. They have also argued that these applications have also been filed on fresh grounds available to them as agitated in their bail applications. We have, however, felt not persuaded to agree with the learned Counsel for the applicants in this regard for the reasons that as per observations made hereinabove, there are strong pieces of evidence collected by the investigating officer against the applicants in this case. In order to rebut the arguments as agitated by learned Counsel for the applicants, we have been guided by the case of Shaikh Muhammad Rafiq v. Muhammad Yamin and others reported as PLD 2016 SC 13 wherein it has been held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that “non-compliance of the directions issued by the High Courts to the trial Court to conclude the trial expeditiously or within specified time, non-compliance with such directions could not be considered a valid ground to grant bail to the accused, being alien to the provisions of Section 497, Cr.P.C.”
15. On this point, we are also fortified with case of Tallat Ishaq v. National Accountability Bureau through Chairman and others reported as PLD 2019 SC 112, wherein it has been held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that “Directions issued by the High Courts or Supreme Court to the trial Court to conclude trial within specific time limit, such direction was an administrative direction and non-compliance of such direction by trial Court for whatever reason may not entitle the accused/ person to claim bail as of right.”
16. It is argued by Mr. Adnan Memon, learned Counsel for applicant Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta that investigating officer during investigation has submitted report before the trial Court exonerated him from this case, therefore, FIR to the extent of applicant Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta may be quashed. In this regard, it is pertinent to mention here that earlier the bail plea of this applicant was rejected by this Court, but he did not assail the said order before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, therefore, the earlier order of this Court against him attained finality, besides this no fresh and cogent ground has been found. As far as, the question that subsequently investigating officer submitted report wherein he exonerated the applicant Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta but the learned trial Court did not accept the same and joined him in the case and charge was also framed against him. It is the case of applicant Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta that no such incident has taken place as alleged in FIR, but this fact has been denied by learned Deputy Attorney General that partly FIR cannot quashed in view of the case laws already relied by him as supra. It appears that there are words against words and factual controversies are floating from the record with regard to the facts of the case in respect of applicant Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta, which cannot be decided by this Court at this stage. As evident from impugned order dated 18.09.2020, the learned trial Court has already taken cognizance of the case. Therefore, the law is quite settled by now that after taking cognizance of the case by trial Court, the FIR registered in that case cannot be partly quashed and the fate of the case and accused persons challaned therein is to be determined by the trial Court itself. It goes without saying that if after taking cognizance of a case by trial Court an accused person deems himself to be innocent and falsely implicated and he wishes to avoid the rigorous of trial then law has provided him a remedy under Section 249-A or 265-K, Cr.P.C. to seek his pre-mature acquittal from trial Court if the charge against him is groundless or there is no probability of his conviction. Learned Counsel for the applicant though argued at length, but he was not able to controvert the above factual and legal aspects of the case. Since the remedy is available to the applicant (Muhammad Faisal @ Chitta) for redressal of his grievances by approaching to the trial Court for filing proper application in support of his case. Therefore, his Criminal Miscellaneous Application under the aforementioned facts and circumstances of the case is not maintainable. The same is hereby dismissed. In this regard, we are supported with the case of Safdar Ali v. Zafar Iqbal and others reported in 2002 SCMR 63. If any case law is need on this point, reliance is also placed in the case of Director General Anti-Corruption Establishment Lahore and others v. Muhammad Akram Khan and others reported in PLD 2013 SC 401. Again on this point, we are supported with the case of Malik Dilnawaz v. The State reported in 2009 YLR 1604.
17. It is also argued by the learned Counsel for the applicants that the co-accused namely, Faisal Ghulam Hussain, Muhammad Sajjad and Ahmed Armaghan Haneef Shaikh have already been granted bail by this Court vide order dated 28.09.2020, therefore, following the rule of consistency, these applicants are also entitled for same relief. This argument is devoid of any force because of the reason that the case of present applicants is altogether on different footings than the case of co-accused, who have already been granted bail, even otherwise, it would be seen that rule of consistency is not absolute and inflexible. It can be applied only when a person, on merit is entitled to bail. If a thing is not permitted to be done directly it cannot be allowed to be done indirectly. When a person is not entitled to bail on merits, he cannot claim it solely on the principle of rule of consistency. In fact, the principle of consistency has a very limited scope and while applying this principle, the fact of each case shall be the deciding factor for the grant or refusal of bail. In the instant case, as observed above, sufficient evidence is available on record against the applicants/accused persons, therefore, they cannot be granted bail, even no fresh ground exists.
18. In view of the above, the applicants have failed to made out their case for grant of bail in their favour or quashment of FIR through criminal miscellaneous application, therefore, captioned criminal bail applications along with criminal miscellaneous application are dismissed along with listed applications. The case law cited by learned Counsel have been perused and considered by us but did not find applicable to the facts of the present case. Even otherwise, in criminal administration of justice each case has to be decided on its own facts and circumstances, and Courts are required to exercise jurisdiction independently as held by Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan in case of State vs. Haji Kabir Khan reported as PLD 2005 SC 364 and Muhammad Faiz @ Bhoora vs. The State and another reported in 2015 SCMR 655.
19. As observed above, in this matter Presiding Officer of trial Court has already recorded the evidence of two material prosecution witnesses and trial is in progress rather entered into advance stage of the case; under these circumstances, we are sanguine that the learned trial Court shall conclude the trial expeditiously as early as possible in accordance with law and no unnecessary adjournment shall be granted to either side. Compliance report be submitted to this Court through MIT-II. Office is directed to immediately send copy of this order to trial Court through any swift means for information and compliance.
20. Needless to mention here that observations, if any, made hereinabove are tentative in nature and would not influence the trial Court while deciding the case of the applicants on merits.
Faizan A. Rathore/PA*