Freedom of citizens cannot be curbed beyond law, constitution: SC




Justice Anwar Zahir Jamali has on Monday said freedom of any citizen could not be curbed beyond law and constitution and if the freedom of anyone had to be suppressed, the legal course would have to be pursued.

He gave the remarks while presiding over a two-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) during the course of hearing of missing persons case on Monday.

The court was told during the hearing of missing person Mudassar Iqbal that SP Lahore, Shahzad Nadim Bokhari, who had requested for including UNHCR representative in the investigation of the case had been transferred to FIA, therefore, the process of the investigation had stalled.

UNHCR representative had sent report to police that UN representative working for recovery of missing persons had spotted missing person Mudassar Iqbal in the custody of intelligence agencies. Efforts were made to contact the representative and instead of extending any cooperation, he meted out insulting treatment to SP Shahzad Nadim Bokhari.

Upon this, the court had issued notice to UN representative.

The additional advocate general (AAG) presented this report before the two-member bench headed by Justice Anwar Zahir Jamali.

The court directed the SP to contact UN representative within two weeks and present a report in this regard.

Justice Azmat Saeed remarked, “Missing persons cases are of a serious nature. The government will have to do something in this connection.”

At the inception of hearing, police presented a report, while the court also heard a petition of Karam Elahi.

AAG Tariq Khokhar told the court that investigation into the case was assigned to Chakwal sessions judge, but the judge was on leave and the report could only be filed after Eidul Fitr.

The hearing of Omar Zada and Omar Bakht case was adjourned for two weeks.

In Mudassar Iqbal case, the court was told that Lahore City SP was directed to investigate the matter, but he had been transferred to FIA. The New SP said he had assumed the additional charge on August 2.

The Punjab AAG said summons were issued to UN representative and he would return on August 11.

In Mulazim Hussain’s case, Tariq Khokhar told the court that a district and sessions judge was to file a report, but the same had not been received so far.

The mother of a missing person appeared in court and burst into tears, crying, “Where should we go?”

Justice Azmat said, “We are working beyond what the law allows us.”

Amna Masood Janjua said Gul Faqir had gone missing from Mohmand Agency and he was in a detention centre now. Statement of Muhammad Ayyaz was on the record in this regard.

The court directed the AAG to see the list of the persons who were being kept in detention centres. It would be decided after obtaining the information where Gul Faqir was, the court said.

Zulfiqar Khalid Maloka said missing person Niaz Ali was in detention centre in Mohmand Agency. His photograph was also available with reference to his detention.

The court issued notice to DAG and in-charge of the detention centre. The court also heard the petition of Akhundzada.