Even after 8 years, the liquor recovery case is still pending and has not left Atiqa Odho alone. The famous actress is still making rounds of Courts to get rid of the case that seems to go nowhere.
8 years back June 4 2011, Atiqa Odho was found guilty of smuggling 2 bottles of international liquor on Benazir international Airport while she was checked before travelling to Karachi on PIA’s flight PK-301 at 9:15 am. Later, both bottles were confiscated as per customs’ law and then she was permitted to leave.
At that time Atoqa Odho was in Federal information secretary of Awami Pakistan Muslim league.
The issue was not resolved and prevailed to exist for the next 8 years because the Chief Justice of that time Iftikhar Chaudhry took the sou moto notice of the case and none of the civil judge was able to make a decision. Two judges including the assistant commissioner eventually withdrew from the case.
However, the case was not very strong in nature mainly because of the lack of evidence against the victim. The news got a lot of media attention when Chief Justice asked the police and customs officials to clarify why any case was not filed against her.
Later the custom police officials sent a lawsuit to the Airport Police Station and the police filed a case against the artist as per criminal article section ¾.
After this, the actress was once arrested but released immediately after bail. The court also gave the orders to refrain from arresting or harassing the artist.
Later the police recorded her statement under section 161 of Court of Criminal Procedure (CRPC) and presented the charge sheet exactly after 14 days due to pressure from the Supreme Court. 10 witnesses also recorded their statements but no end product came out after constant appearing in the hearing regularly for six months, the artist was then granted immunity from appearing before the court until the final verdict by the Additional Session Judge Iqbal Chadhar.
Furthermore, the next hearing of the case is on 23rd January in the court of Assistant Commissioner City Madam Naeem Afzal.
A notice has been issued to summon the government and suspect’s lawyers.
Senior criminal lawyer Masood ul Hasan Bukhari Advocate said that section ¾ only implies that the suspect be fined Rs1,000 to Rs2,000 or imprisonment of 10 to 20 days while both penalties could be given.
He added that it is the discretion of court or judge to acquit the suspect on the absence of proof.