PHC asks all three officials to appear in court for failing to locate missing persons
PESHAWAR: Government officials have incurred the wrath of the Peshawar High Court again as a division bench ordered the K-P chief secretary and federal interior and defence secretaries to appear in person. The officials were summoned for their failure to comply with court orders to recover a missing person.
Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Irshad Qaiser sought an explanation from the officers.
When the bench took up missing persons’ cases, it was told that Jandud was being held at the Lakki Marwat internment centre. However, there was no official confirmation of his detention.
Additional Attorney General Syed Atiq Shah said a letter was written to the home secretary, relevant commissioner, internment centre in-charge and Headquarters 11 Corps in light of the court order. The document sought details of various missing persons.
Miankhel remarked that provincial and federal institutions had not bothered to submit a reply over the last eight months.
“Ultimately, the courts are blamed for the failure of the government,” he observed.
The chief justice voiced concerns over whether court orders were not being taken seriously. The bench ultimately ordered the K-P chief secretary and the interior and defence secretaries to appear before the court in person. Miankhel also demanded updates on whether the relevant authorities were being taken to task for not implementing court orders.
By the same token, the bench issued notices to the Kohat, Bannu and Malakand commissioners to appear before the court.
In a separate case, Shah told the court that the attorney general’s office had written to the relevant departments, seeking a reply in missing persons’ cases. “I have fulfilled my responsibility,” he said.
The court asked for a written clarification from the assistant attorney general on whether he had fulfilled his responsibility and said it would subsequently decide further action.
In another case involving complainant Khanzada, the bench ordered the implementation of an order to link the salaries of officials concerned with abiding by court directives.
The bench also heard another missing persons’ case of Obaidullah and Mulazim Hussain who were detained at the Lakki Marwat internment centre.
Obaidullah’s lawyer complained his client should at least be informed of the grounds on which he was given the death sentence.
The court was told that Obaidullah was placed in the “black category” upon which the court disposed of his writ petition. It was stated that Obaidullah was among the nine people whose death sentence was approved by the chief of army staff.
The bench ordered authorities to determine his whereabouts and arrange for a meeting between him and his family.
In a separate petition, the court was told that 71-year-old Ali Said, who was detained at an internment centre in Ghallanai, suffered from various health conditions. However, he had been declared fit in a medical report.
The court issued a notice to the FATA Additional Chief Secretary to explain the report and submit the suspect’s medical details on the next date of hearing. The chief justice adjourned these cases till October 21.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2015.