Supreme Court’s monitoring judge issues directives at meeting convened to review the performance of the ATCs in Sindh
The Supreme Court’s monitoring judge for the anti-terrorism courts (ATCs), Justice Amir Hani Muslim, has directed the Sindh government to appoint an administrative judge to look after the affairs of the anti-terrorism courts in the province and judicial officers for three ATCs for expeditious trials.
These directives were issued at a meeting convened to review the performance of the ATCs in Sindh at the SC Karachi registry, which was attended by Justice Muslim, Sindh IG Ghulam Hyder Jamali, prosecutor-general Sher Muhammad Sheikh, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board managing director Misbah Fariduddin, and officials of the prisons, works and services departments.
Taking notice of complaints regarding frequent transfers of the anti-terrorism cases, Justice Muslim asked SHC Chief Justice Faisal Arab to recommend the name of the administrative judge to the provincial government, which was directed to issue the required notification for the administrative judge’s appointment without any delay. The SC judge also took notice of the delays in the process of appointment of the judges to the three ATCs upon being informed that the summary based on the SHC CJ’s recommendations was still pending with the chief minister’s office.
Justice Muslim directed the home department to ask the principal secretary to the chief minister to ensure that the process of the appointment of the judges is expedited and the notification on their appointment is issued immediately.
He also issued directives to the home, works and services authorities to provide the required facilities to the ATCs across the province within three months and submit compliance reports.
He directed the IG and prosecutor-general to ensure that the investigation officers appear before the ATCs and provide required evidence for expeditious trials. Jamali was also directed to ensure production of the under-trial prisoners in the ATCs on each date of hearing.
The KWSB chief was directed to ensure provision of drinking water to the ATCs and the works and services officials were also instructed to install water coolers for prisoners at the courts.
Justice Hani also ordered the health secretary to make sure that a qualified officer is appointed to the post of the chemical examiner. He further ordered the IG to ensure the reports of the police’s forensic science laboratory are filed in the courts on time. Earlier, Justice Muslim and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah paid a visit to the KMC Building in Clifton, where the ATCs had been shifted due to security threats.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2015.