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July 16, 2013

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Parallel tribunals can’t be established: CJ

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Monday observed that parallel tribunals could not be established by anyone and it was the right of the people to get fair trial and due process of law.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, resumed hearing into the missing persons case. The court directed the government to ensure the implementation of recommendations of the Judicial Commission on Missing Persons in letter and spirit.
The commission has recommended compensation to the victims of enforced disappearances.During the hearing, the chief justice directed that recommendations of Justice (retd) Kamal Mansoor Alam on missing persons e.g. compensation to the victims of enforced disappearances, be implemented.
Justice Khawaja observed that every province should have borne the expenses of travelling of the heirs of missing persons who used to appear before the court in the case.A commission, comprising Justice (R) Kamal Mansoor Alam, Justice (R) Fazlur Rehman and Justice (R) Nasira Iqbal, was formed in March 2010 to sort out the cases of missing persons. It finalised its report in 2011 and submitted it to the then government.
In addition to compensation, the commission had recommended that the intelligence agencies should be restrained from arbitrarily arresting and detaining anyone without due process of law.
On Monday, the court took strong exception to the failure of the authorities concerned for not ensuring meetings of the relatives with their near and dear ones, detained in internment centres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The court admonished Additional Attorney General (AAG) Tariq Khokar for his failure to arrange meeting of relatives with the missing persons in five internment centres.On last hearing, the court directed him to arrange meeting of the seven relatives with their near and dear ones.
“Tell us

who disallowed the seven persons to meet their relatives in internment centres,” the CJ asked the AAG.The AAG, however, sought time to do the needful. “This is a very important matter and we cannot give further time in this regard,” Justice Azmat Saeed told the AAG.
Justice Khawaja observed that the court wants to resolve the cases of missing persons as early as possible. “This is very strange that heirs of missing persons are running from pillar to post to know whereabouts of missing prisoners while they are in government’s custody,” he remarked.
The court noted that there are 504 missing persons detained in seven internment centres. On the last hearing, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Dil Muhammad Alizai submitted list of seven internment centres.
The centres are: sub-jail Palthom, Swat; sub-jail Fizaghat, Swat; sub-jail Malakand; District Jail Timergara (not functional); Frontier Corps Forts of Chitral, Drosh, Mirkhai and Timergara (not functional); District Jail Lakki Marwat and District Jail, Kohat.
During the hearing, the CJ observed that when people from Fata are elected to Parliament and participate in the legislation process, then it is their right to get fair trial and due process of law.
He observed that parallel tribunals could not be established by anyone.Meanwhile, the court issued notices to the Fata and Pata secretaries and sought report pertaining to details of the Review Board and adjourned the matter till July 29The court also directed the AAG to produce before the court on July 17 two missing brothers – Ubaidullah and Mulazim – and issued notices to IG KP and IG Punajb.
Amina Masood Janjua, chairperson of Defence of Human Rights Pakistan, told the court that Ubaidullah was picked up by the police from Bakarh while his brother Mulazim was picked up from Dera Ismael Khan.AAG Tariq Khokar sought time from the court to consult the relevant authorities.

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