Picking up people without evidence should come to end: CJP

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Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Tuesday said picking up people without evidence should come to end as no one could be kept under illegal detention even for a second.

He gave these remarks while presiding over a three-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) while hearing cases regarding Adiala missing prisoners.

The CJP remarked, “No one will be allowed to gag the freedom of anyone. Picking people without evidence should come to end now. People are lifted without evidence. If the court interferes then the missing persons are either killed or they are named in new cases and are convicted and sentenced without trial. Such jokes with the people and courts should come to end. Picking any one without evidence is a crime. If trial is proved illegal, then on whom the responsibility will rest? No one can be kept under illegal detention even for a second. Days are gone when no one cared for law and constitution. Now the rule of law and constitution will prevail no matter it is liked or disliked by any one”.

The seven missing Adiala jail prisoners were produced in the court during the hearing.

The prisoners told the court they were neither put to trial nor were they produced in any court. “We were told verbally that such and such person has been convicted,” they stated.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government told the court that physical condition of the prisoners was good and they were physically fit.

The counsel for the intelligence agencies told the court, “Two among the prisoners have been sentenced to five years in prison, while the remaining five prisoners have been awarded life imprisonment, 14 years in jail. This sentence will commence from March, 22, 2013,” he said.

The court expressed its reservations on matters of trial and conviction, saying the court be told what offence the prisoners had committed.

“Where did the trial take place and when were they convicted?”

Counsel for the prisoners, Tariq Asad, expressed wonder that though he was the counsel for the prisoners, he was not informed about their trial and conviction despite the fact that it was his legal right.

“It seems as if something is wrong in the matter, while the anti-terrorism court has acquitted all of them with reference to all offences. The prisoners are telling themselves that they were kept in Adiala jail despite the fact they had completed their prison term. Court should interfere in the matter.”

The CJP said if there was complaint against any prisoner, “it should be dealt with under law and constitution”.

The KP advocate general said political agent could not appear due to his electoral engagements.

The court sought authentic record of the trial of the prisoners from the counsel for intelligence agencies.

The CJP remarked any decision would be given after reviewing the record.

While seeking legal and constitutional opinion from the attorney general in respect of trial and conviction, the SC directed him to tell when the cases were instituted against the prisoners and when their trial was completed and conviction handed.

The court also ordered sending the prisoners to jail under protective custody and arranging meeting with their relatives.

The hearing of the case was adjourned until May 20.

2 COMMENTS

  1. If courts are pro taliban, agensies are left with no choice other than picking them to control terrorism?

  2. And now Nora on board, the courts under che ap Justice will give 100% free hand to terrorists. Finding an evidence against terrorists is next to impossible in this country.

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