SC declares it illegal to detain people


The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared it illegal to take people into custody from detention centres by the army and its agencies.
A three-member bench, led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, and comprising of Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Amir Hani Muslim, issued interim orders after hearing a set of petitions about missing persons and law and order situation in Balochistan.
The court ordered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and Governor Shaukatullah Khan to recover 35 missing persons within seven days.
During the hearing, the court observed that its order regarding the recovery of missing persons was not being followed.
Justice Chaudhry said that even the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Military Intelligence (MI), the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Frontier Corps (FC) did not have right to illegally detain people. He urged the government to make legislation to stop forced disappearances.
Acting Defence Secretary Raja Arif Nazir said that the missing persons could not be produced before the court as there were serious security threats to their lives.
Addressing the secretary, the CJ said he was a Grade 20 officer and yet he was showing negligence, adding that an order would be issued against him.
He observed that non-implementation of the court orders was unacceptable. He said that despite directives of the court, the government produced only seven of 35 missing persons, adding that justifications in this regard were not acceptable.
The government partially complied with a Supreme Court ruling a few days back by producing some of the missing persons.
The latest case was brought to the Supreme Court by relatives of 35 prisoners who were handed over to the army by the head of Malakand jail in 2012. The jail superintendent later testified in the court that the army took all the 35 men along, two of them later died.
In the last few hearings, the court has ruled that the army should produce these men to show they were still alive.
Meanwhile, the court had also announced the judgement of the Adiala Jail missing persons’ case. A three member bench announced the verdict.
In its verdict, the apex court has ordered the missing persons to be present in the court.
The court has ordered the immediate release of the missing persons as they cannot be kept in custody without legal formalities.
It is also stated in the judgement that the facilities according to the law would be provided to the persons in the detention centers. It is further said that complete medical treatment would also be provided to the detainees.