Separate Trials for Different Versions of Offence and Double Jeopardy

Separate Trials for Different Versions of Offence and Double Jeopardy Anti Terrorism Case Laws Constitutional Law Criminal Law Double Jeopardy Knowledge - Constitutional Law Knowledge - Criminal Law Lahore High Court Litigation & Arbitration Solutions - Constitutional Law Solutions - Criminal Law Mr. Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan and Mrs. Justice Erum Sajad Gull in their judgment has decided the issue regarding separate trials for different versions of offence and double jeopardy in Writ Petition No. 2666 of 2016.

1. Through the instant writ petition, petitioner has challenged the order dated 7.01.2016 passed by the learned Judge ATC-II, Lahore whereby the application moved by the petitioner for consolidating both the criminal cases registered for the same occurrence i.e. case FIR No.510 dated 17.6.2014, registered under Sections 302/ 34/ 324/ 353/ 186/ 148/ 149/ 290/ 291/ 427/ 506-B/109 PPC, Section 13/13-B of the Pakistan Arms Ordinance (XX of 1965) and 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 and case FIR No.696 dated 28.8.2014, registered under Sections 302, 324, 109, 148, 149, 395, 427, 506 PPC, Section 155/C of the Police Order, 2002 (later on Sections 365/452/295-B PPC read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 were added) at Police Station Faisal Town, Lahore was dismissed.

2. We have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and perused the record.

3. Brief facts of the case are that FIR No.510 dated 17.6.2014, under Sections 302/34/324/353/186/148/ 149/ 290/291/427/506-B, 109 PPC and Section 13/13-B of the Pakistan Arms Ordinance (XX of 1965) at Police Station Faisal Town, Lahore was registered on the complaint of Rizwan Qadir Hashmi, Inspector/SHO, Police Station Faisal Town, Lahore against the accused mentioned in the FIR. On the other hand, Muhammad Jawad Hamid, Director Administration, Minhaj-ul-Quran International, Lahore being complainant of the FIR No.696 dated 28.8.2014, under Sections 302/ 324/ 109/ 148/ 149/ 395/ 427/506 PPC, Section 155/C of the Police Order, 2002 (later on Sections 365/452/295-B PPC read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 were added), also got registered criminal case against different set of accused with different version regarding the same occurrence detail of which is mentioned in FIR No.510/14. Reports under Section 173 Cr.P.C pertaining to case FIR No.510/2014 and case FIR No.696/2014 have been submitted in the trial court separately. Learned trial court has commenced the trials in these two different cases separately but proceedings in these two cases are being held simultaneously. Petitioner earlier moved an application on 17.11.2015 before the trial court with the following prayer:

“In the above circumstances it is humbly prayed before this Hon’ble Court that a separate trial may be conducted for two wholly different sets of accused persons challaned in the case FIR No.510/14.”

The aforementioned application was dismissed as not being pressed. Thereafter the petitioner on 7.1.2016 moved another application.

4. The learned trial court after hearing arguments of the petitioner dismissed the application on 7.1.2016 by observing as under:

“Learned counsel for the some of accused have submitted that under Article 13 of the Constitution of Pakistan no one can be tried twice for the same offence therefore, it is essential that the charges in cases FIR No.510/2014 and 696/2014 registered with regard to the same occurrence against almost same accused be consolidated so as to rule out possibility of separate illegal trials.

The learned Prosecutor have opposed the application put on behalf of the accused on the ground that the cases FIR No.510/2014 and 696/2014 Police Station Faisal Town, Lahore stand lodged at the instance of different complainants on the basis of different assertions whereas the investigation of aforementioned both cases were conducted by different JITs and sets of accused being produced in custody to some extent are also different in nature whereas the charges in both the cases, already stand framed hence the consolidation of trials of both the cases as desired by some of the accused is not possible. The dismissal of the application is prayed.

As regards Article 13 of Constitution of Pakistan 1973, the same relates to double jeopardy cases and has nothing to do with the present proposition. The prospective consolidated of charges in both the cases referred to above is bound to hamper the conclusion of the trials of both the cases. The investigations in both the cases stand conducted differently and all the accused already stand opined guilty of the commission of offence in question. Under the aforementioned circumstances and to avoid prejudice to any of the parties, the trials of both the cases are being conducted separately but simultaneously which certainly would not cause prejudice to the accused persons. I am supported by PLJ 2006 Crl. 721, 2000 SCMR 641 and PLD 2003 Lahore 71. In view of what has been stated above, the application in hand is also dismissed.”

5. The arguments of the learned counsel for the petitioner that under Article 13 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 no one can be tried twice for the same offence and case FIR No.510/14 and 696/14) registered regarding the same occurrence against almost the same accused may be consolidated has no substance. Article 13 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 is hereby reproduced as under:

“13. Protection against double punishment and self-incrimination. No person-
(a) shall be prosecuted or punished for the same offence more than once, or
(b) shall, when accused of an offence, be compelled to be a witness against himself.”

6. Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan has interpreted the word ‘Prosecution’ used in Article 13 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 by observing in case Syed Alamdar Hussain Shah v. Abdul Baseer Qureshi & two others (PLJ 1978 Supreme Court 221).

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