Monday September 25, 2023

Establish human rights courts this week: IHC tells govt

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarks that trial of cases of human rights violations will be held in special courts

October 24, 2022
Islamabad High Court. — IHC website
Islamabad High Court. — IHC website

The government has been directed to establish human rights courts within the current week in a case related to the torture of prisoners at the Adiala jail.

The directive was passed by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday, during the hearing of a case regarding the torture inflicted on the prisoners of the jail.

During the hearing, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the trial of the cases of human rights violations will be held in special courts.

"The court will not tolerate torture meted out to the prisoners," the justice said, stressing that the inhuman practice of custodial torture should end now.

There are strong laws related to human rights which can deal with the violations, he added.

Meanwhile, PTI leader Asad Umar said: "No one is safe now, not even Arshad Sharif."

At this, the IHC chief justice said that even the food brought for the prisoners by the visitors is taken away by the staff.

An official of the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) informed the court that 11 children have been granted bail but have no place to go.

At this, the chief justice asked: "Why shouldn't we keep those children at the  PM or CM houses?"

The NCHR secretary said that about 1,400 prisoners are drug users and there is only one male doctor for 4,000 prisoners.

To this, Justice Minallah said that NCHR has wide-ranging powers and can even hire consultants.

He said that the commission can access any prisoner and even the superintendent of the jail cannot stop it.

"This court sends you all the complaints it receives every day," he said to the secretary.

Justice Minallah also directed to provide a copy of the report to Asad Umar so that he could apprise his government in Punjab.

Moreover, the court also ordered action against the inspector-general of prisons in Punjab and the superintendent of Adiala Jail.