SC questions immunity to spies for HR abuses


Justice Jawad S Khawaja on Friday remarked that whosoever has done anything wrong will have to bear its consequences.

He gave these remarks while presiding over a two-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) during hearing of the missing persons case, particularly that of Dr Abida Malik’s husband.

Justice Khawaja remarked: “The court has no option but to follow the law and constitution in the missing persons case. May be democratic government has some other options. Dr Abida Malik’s case is that of human rights. We cannot close our eyes to it. No one can declare oneself above law and constitution after taking illegal and unconstitutional steps. Whosoever has done anything will have to be accountable for it”.

The judge observed that “How can it be possible that a person is kept under detention without any allegation and evidence and even his family is not allowed to meet him! He is kept deprived of all medicines and clothes! Do the armed forces and intelligence agencies stand exempted from human rights? Are they allowed to do or say whatever they want and that the superior judiciary cannot take them to task?”

The court rejected a request of Ibrahim Satti, counsel for the Military Intelligence (MI) director general, for constitution of full court in Dr Abida Malik’s case.

A three-member bench was conducting hearing of the missing persons case on day-to-day basis, therefore there’s no need to constitute a full court on this count, the judge remarked.

In order to ascertain federation’s stance, the court directed Additional Attorney General (AAG) Tariq Khokhar to obtain directives from the federal government and present the reply before it.

Attorney General (AG) Munir A Malik said the SC wielded unrestrained powers under article 184(3) of the constitution. It could accord the status of constitutional petition to any suo motu notice, he added. If there was no petition even then it had jurisdiction to hear civil and military matters, the AG opined. Police was fully empowered to arrest armed forces personnel or civilians for committing any illegal act after registering an FIR against them. If the NAB is authorised to proceed against military personnel or civilians under the NAB ordinance for affecting the people then why could the SC not have such powers, Malik questioned.

Ibrahim Satti argued that Article 8 of the constitution did not apply to the army. The decision could not be nullified on the plea of human rights violations, he said. “The court could determine its jurisdiction and if there was any bar in the law then the court had to decide in this regard,” he argued. Police was not authorised to arrest any colonel and if they seek help from the court, it could not interfere in it, Satti argued.

Justice Jawad remarked that everyone had been granted individual freedom under Article 8 of the constitution.

The AG said the matter pertained to enforced disappearance and it did not stand procedural. On this, Justice Khawaja remarked the commandant admitted that the person had been picked up.

The AG said the law and constitution of the country did not bar the police from registering an FIR against any army officer.

Justice Jawad said no progress could have been made in this matter. It was yet to be known whether Tasaf was alive or dead, the justice remarked. “When we will know about the true fact of his (Tasaf) life, then we will see under what procedure his trial takes place,” the justice further commented.


The court also heard the case of Noor Bibi.

Justice Jawad remarked that Ali Asghar Mangalzai case was pending since long and no one had raised any issue in Mangalzai case.

Coming hard on the Balochistan police, the judge remarked that they (police) would have to do their job. The Balochistan advocate general should get the matter resolved within 10 days and review the cases of other missing persons of the province, Justice Jawad directed. The proceedings were adjourned for July 25.