Outrage As Ex-Balochistan MPA Accused Of Running Over, Killing Traffic Warden Acquitted By Court

A model court in Quetta acquitted former Balochistan lawmaker Majeed Khan Achakzai for lack of evidence in a case pertaining to the death of a traffic warden in a hit-and-run accident in June 2017.

The decision announced by judge Dos Muhammad Mandokhail was vehemently criticised by people on social media, who called it a travesty of justice. They said the ex-lawmaker was acquitted for lack of evidence even though he had 'admitted to driving the vehicle when the accident took place and also expressed his desire to settle the issue with the victim’s family as per tribal traditions'.

Police had arrested Achakzai, who had also headed the provincial Public Accounts Committee, days after a vehicle ran over a traffic warden Haji Attaullah at GPO Chowk, Quetta. The warden had succumbed to his wounds at a hospital. The vehicle had belonged to Achakzai.

The entire episode was caught on a CCTV camera that went viral of social and mainstream media. Subsequently, Achakzai was booked for manslaughter even though the initial report of the accident had nominated unidentified people. However, he was granted bail by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) six months later and had been out of jail since then.

The case of the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) leader was later moved to a model court after a judge decided to drop anti-terrorism charges from the case.

Reactions to the verdict:

The acquittal of the former lawmaker was criticised by the activists and civil society members on social media. They said such decisions raise questions on the transparency of our judicial system and prosecution.