The judge, Naveed Iqbal – granting bail to accused Ali Hassan, 5, and other co-accused Shehbaz Ahmed, and his father Abdul Hameed against bail bonds of Rs50,000 each – directed the CCPO Lahore to take departmental action against the police officials, who filed the FIR, and submit report by June 4.
On Friday, the five-year-old minor appeared in the court, holding his father’s hand. He looked quite tense and remained silent in the courtroom.
When the judge entered the courtroom, the accused was standing in the dock. However as he was not visible due to his height, the judge directed the father to lift him in his lap and come to the rostrum.
The counsel for the accused described the incident as a scuffle of minors. He said that complainant’s side had badly thrashed the accused party and had also registered an FIR against them in connivance with local police.
According to FIR – registered by a Hassan Shehzad under section 354/427 of Pakistan Penal Code – the accused Ali Hassan first beat the female cousin of the complainant.
It said that when the matter was brought to the knowledge of his father, Abdul Hameed, the accused also badly thrashed the complainant’s mother and hurled stones at their house and broke their windowpanes. It said the accused also used foul language and threatened him with dire consequences
Talking to The Express Tribune, Ali Hassain said he did not know why his father had brought him to that place. When asked if he was aware that police had implicated him in a case, he said he had no idea. He said he had not beaten anyone nor had thrown stone at any house. This is the second incident in which police registered FIR against a minor. Earlier the Muslim Town police in Lahore had registered a case against nine-month-old Moosa, who was nominated for attempted murder and interfering in state affairs.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had taken notice of the incident and sought a report from the Inspector General Police. However, the police were quick enough to shift the blame on the plaintiff of the FIR, Assistant Sub-Inspector Kashif, saying he did not know that one of the accused was a child.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2014.