Judges upset with law enforcers for not filing comments within stipulated time
KARACHI: Taking serious exception to the conduct of the provincial chiefs of the police department and the Rangers, the Sindh High Court (SHC) warned on Thursday of adverse consequences if they failed to comply with the directives issued in the missing persons’ cases.
The warning came from a two-member bench, comprising justices Irfan Saadat Khan and Zafar Ahmed Rajput, while hearing two petitions seeking to know the whereabouts of two missing persons. The petitioner, Athar Jameel Ansari, had approached the court against the Rangers authorities, accusing them of illegally detaining his son for over two months.
The Rangers personnel took away Zain Ansari, an MBA graduate, from his Defence Phase-VII residence in a pre-dawn raid on August 15, the petitioner stated, adding that his whereabouts had not been disclosed since. The court had also cautioned the Rangers officials of strict action, if the comments were not filed by October 22, recalled the petitioner’s lawyer, Khawaja Saiful Islam. During Thursday’s proceedings, no comments were filed by the Rangers.
“It is noted with annoyance that a request was made to Respondent 1 (Rangers DG) to file comments and today again, a similar request is being made,” observed the head of the bench, Justice Khan. Allowing time till November 5, the bench directed the law officer to file comments on behalf of the Rangers DG, otherwise “adverse inference could be drawn.”
The same bench also warned of adverse consequences if Sindh IG Ghulam Hyder Jamali failed to appear in court on the next date of hearing to explain why he had failed to comply with the court’s earlier directives passed in a missing persons case.
The petitioner, Miandad, had approached the court, alleging that his son, Muhammad Iqbal, was taken away when he had gone to the mosque on June 25. According to residents, armed men belonging to the law enforcement agencies had taken Iqbal away in a Vigo (licence plate number SP-0021).
They observed that on the last date of hearing, the IG was directed to file the report by October 22, otherwise he would personally be summoned to explain the non-compliance of the order.
On Thursday, the two judges found neither was IG Jamali present nor was any report filed on his behalf.
Taking serious notice of the defiance of the court’s directives by the police chief, the judges called him personally on the next date of hearing to file his report and explain why the same was not done during the stipulated time granted previously.
The bench members also clarified that, “If the IG does not appear on the next date of hearing, inference may be drawn.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2015.