The Supreme Court’s monitoring judge for anti-terrorism courts in Sindh has ordered the provincial police chief to track down the proclaimed offenders and absconders against whom arrest warrants have been issued in cases relating to militancy. Justice Amir Hani Muslim issued these directives at a meeting convened at the apex court’s Karachi Registry to review the performance of the ATCs in the province.
Justice Muslim ordered the AIG Thebo to ensure the arrest of proclaimed offenders and absconders, against whom perpetual arrest warrants had been issued by the anti-terrorism courts. For this purpose, the judges of ATCs across the province were directed to examine their dormant files after every two months to ensure the progress in the cases.
Sources told The Express Tribune that the monitoring judge directed the prisons IG, Nusrat Hussain Mangan and SSP Muhammad Yaqoob Almani of the court police to ensure the production of under-trial prisoners before the relevant anti-terrorism courts by 8:30am every day. It was also decided that the anti-terrorism monitoring cell in the Sindh police be made functional as soon as possible.
Justice Muslim also directed the Karachi Police chief, AIG Ghulam Qadir Thebo, to ensure that the reports prepared by the forensic science laboratory as well as chemical examination reports were submitted to the relevant ATCs along with the charge-sheet of every case.
The SC monitoring judge noted that Sindh’s prosecutor general, Sher Ali Sheikh, did not appear before the SC in criminal cases. The Sindh High Court’s monitoring judge for ATCs in the province, Sajjad Ali Shah, informed the apex court that PG Sheikh hardly ever appeared in criminal cases before the high court either.
Justice Muslim noted that the Sindh PG was also absent from Saturday’s proceedings at the Karachi Registry, “which has far-reaching effects on the issues relating to criminal prosecution of sensitive cases, leads to the inference that he has hardly any interest in the office,” said a press release. The monitoring judge cautioned that under the circumstances, it was for the competent authority to see whether prosecution could be headed by a law officer of such a nature.
The meeting decided that the E-court, which was to be created, would be shifted to the present location of the anti-terrorism courts. The works and services department would hand over the newly renovated/constructed anti-terrorism courts to the registrar of the SHC by June 30.
SC’s monitoring judge directed IG Jamali to provide 15 police mobile vans to the investigation wing of the Karachi police within one month. Justice Muslim also took serious exception at the non-submission of charge-sheets by investigation officers in more than 150 FIRs, which were pending trial before the ATCs across the province. He ordered the Legal AIG to collect the FIRs from the ATCs’ registrar and submit their charge-sheets to the courts within two weeks.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2015.
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