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IHC Justice Kayani orders live coverage of court proceedings in all missing persons cases

By News Desk

May 24, 2024 10:19 PM


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Islamabad High Court (IHC) senior judge Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani has summoned the defence secretary and ISI sector commander in connection with a petition seeking the recovery of Kashmiri poet Ahmed Farhad Shah, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Conducting the hearing on Friday, Justice Mohsin Kayani ordered the defence secretary and the ISI sector commander to appear before the court on May 29. “Sector commander is equivalent to our SHO, so he should not be ashamed of appearing in the court. All institutions are subordinate to the law and no one should feel insulted for appearing in courts,” the judge remarked.

In an order comprising 8 pages written by Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani was issued in Urdu after the hearing. According to the order, Justice Kayani allowed the electronic media to report Ahmed Farhad’s recovery case despite PEMRA’s ban notification. Journalist Hamid Mir told the court about PEMRA ban notification on electronic media, written order said.

The Attorney General explained that the court may order reporting in the case it deems appropriate. The case is of an important nature, there is a lot of concern among the people of Pakistan, so the court allows reporting, the ruling said. In the order court further said if the hostage is recovered before the next date, a written report should be submitted to the Registrar's Office, Islamabad High Court.

During the hearing, the court comes to the conclusion that the issue of missing persons was the most important issue of public interest. Parliament has not been able to enact any legislation in this regard, Justice Kayani said. The court ordered the investigating officer to record the statement of the sector commander under section 161 of the criminal code.

Poet Farhad Shah was allegedly abducted from his home last week. A petition was filed by Shah’s wife in the IHC, requesting that he be found and produced before the court and to identify, investigate and prosecute those responsible for his disappearance.

Justice Kayani had ordered Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jameel Zafar to retrieve Shah at any cost, warning that he would otherwise summon the defence secretary. The judge had issued a notice to the defence secretary in the next hearing. As the proceedings began on Friday, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan informed the court that a search for Farhad Shah was underway and his local has been traced where a police party is present at the moment. Justice Kayani asked if the State’s guarantee had failed. To which, the AGP said, “No, it has not failed yet.”

According to the AGP, he was in touch with the intelligence agencies for the recovery of Ahmed Farhad. The Attorney General sought more time for the recovery of Ahmed Farhad, the ruling said. According to the petitioner's counsel, recovery was guaranteed by the Attorney General during the last hearing. According to the petitioner's counsel, the state agencies failed to recover the abductees, the ruling said.

According to the petitioner's counsel, the kidnapper's life has been put under severe threats, the ruling said. According to the petitioner's counsel, the state guarantee cannot be relied upon, the order said. According to the police, geo-fencing has been done, soon success will be achieved in reaching the concerned place and people, order. The role of law enforcement agencies could be made responsible with legislation, Justice Kayani said.

The court has come to the conclusion that the issue of missing persons is the most important issue of public interest at the moment, the order said. So far no legislation has been passed by the Parliament to make the role of law enforcement agencies operational or responsible, the order said. Even the missing persons commission set up by the government has not yielded any substantial benefits, the ruling said. The judges said all these issues could be resolved after understanding the internal discretionary and administrative issues of the intelligence agencies.

The court orders Attorney General and petitioner's lawyer Iman Mazari to nominate experts in this regard. Court appointed journalist Hamid Mir and secretary PFUJ as judicial assistant in this regard. The court sought answers to 12 questions related to the issue of missing persons. The court asked IG Islamabad to submit the report of the cases registered against unknown persons in all the police stations of the last one year. In cases where the investigating officers have recorded the statements of the abductee or the next of kin regarding the allegations leveled against an agency, the court said.

In this regard, the investigator had recorded the statement of the sector commander of the concerned agency, Justice Kayani said. Generally, ISI, MI and IB are accused of missing persons and enforced disappearances, the court said. Due to the allegations, their reputation and management affairs are affected and a negative impression is spread about these institutions in the eyes of the public, the court said. What steps did the state take in this regard to eliminate the institutional antagonism? court order concluded.

 

Reporter: Ihtesham Kayani


News Desk


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