Absence of interior secy in missing persons’ case infuriates SHC

By: News Desk
Published: 11:39 AM, 27 Apr, 2021
Absence of interior secy in missing persons’ case infuriates SHC
Caption: File photo.
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Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday expressed its displeasure over the non-appearance of the secretary interior in the missing persons’ case, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. 

And when the deputy secretary of the interior, who appeared in the court on the secretary’s behalf, got bamboozled by a barrage of questions, the court asked him to answer the questions since he had been sent in to represent the secretary interior.    

Justice KK Agha remarked that the SHC had summoned the secretary time and again in connection with non-compliance with the court orders, but in vain. 

The deputy secretary’s continuous silence prompted Justice Agha to ask him whether he understood English. The deputy secretary replied in affirmative. 

Justice Agha told the interior ministry official that his conduct amounted to insulting the court.  

He expressed the fear that if the same situation persisted, then the court might have to issue non-bailable arrest warrants for the secretary interior.

The judges, on the occasion, expressed surprise that when the detention centres were under the control of provincial governments, and not Pakistan Army, why were the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) governments at Centre as well as Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were finding it difficult to answer questions on missing persons and involuntary disappearances.

The court made it clear that if the secretary interior did not turn up on the next hearing, he would be responsible for the consequences. 

The court asked DG Human Rights Commission whether these missing persons should be kept deprived of their basic rights. “Do you think that involuntary disappearances constitute a violation of the basic human rights,” the bench asked the DG.  

The DG replied the government was busy enacting a law on involuntary disappearances.  

Ordering the foreign secretary as well as secretary human rights to appear on the next hearing, the court adjourned further hearing in the case till May 27, while it issued summons to the secretary interior for the last time.