Punjab govt bars blasphemy accused from class B prisons | Pakistan Today

Punjab govt bars blasphemy accused from class B prisons

LAHORE – The Punjab government has formulated a new policy to bar entitlement of Class B prisons to those guilty of blasphemy and espionage among others to check the misuse of “discretionary” powers, Pakistan Today has learnt. Sources privy to the development said that the Pakistan Prisons Rules 1978 left wide room for “interpretation” and were subject to misuse due to political interference.
The Punjab Home Department formulated the new policy which states that only casual offenders, graduates and those having “high living style” before prison are entitled to the Class B prison. The policy further adds that “it is not a matter of right for anyone and is only government discretion”. Sources said the new policy clearly mentions offenders which cannot be entitled to the superior prison.
“Those guilty of terrorism, rape, child abuse, smugglers, kidnappers, bank fraud or embezzlement, dacoity, extortion, blasphemy, hijackers, narcotics and espionage cannot be given Class B prisons as per new policy rules,” sources said. The initial draft of the prison rules did not have details of offences.
“This has become very clear now that a policy exists and no one can misuse it,” sources said, adding that the superior most prison is Class A but due to over crowding in jails, Class B has become the superior most prison.



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