Court directs interior, defence ministries to file reports
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the missing persons’ issue was very sensitive and directed the interior and defence ministries to file reports in this regard.
A five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, resumed hearing in an 11-year-old missing person’s case.The court observed that the Commission of Inquiry for Enforced Disappearances was the proper forum which could investigate the cases of missing persons.
Th court directed Amna Masood Janjua, the Defence of Human Rights Chairperson, to file a written statement regarding reservations about the pace of work of the Commission of Inquiry for Enforced Disappearances (CIED).
Earlier, CIED chief Amna Masood Janjua and others, however, expressed reservations about the pace of work of the Commission of Inquiry for Enforced Disappearances (CIED).Amna Janjua told the court that the performance of the said commission for the last six years was not satisfactory, and there has been no significant improvement made by the commission to ascertain the whereabouts of missing persons. She further said that relatives of the inmates detained in the interment centres were not allowed to meet them.
She further said that still the commission has not resolved the chronic cases relating to about 35 persons who went missing during the regime of Pervez Musharraf.Amna Janjua, spouse of Masood Janjua, a businessman from Rawalpindi who disappeared on July 30, 2005, informed the court that Imran Munir will send her his affidavit regarding her spouse Masood Janjua. She said that recently Imran Munir had contacted her and told her that he will send his affidavit regarding her spouse Masood Janjua.
In 2013, Amna Masood had told a two-member bench of the apex court, comprising Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed hearing the case of her missing spouse Masood Janjua, that the statement of Dr Imran Munir, recorded under Section 161 CrPC, taken on oath by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted by the Ministry of Interior and the Commission of Inquiry for Enforced Disappearances was self explanatory and very comprehensive, endorsing his own handwritten diary notes of 2007 regarding Masood Janjua being with him in a detention facility located in Westridge.
The court asked Amna Masood Janjua to file a written statement relating to her reservations over the performance of the Commission of Inquiry for Enforced Disappearances.Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said that after the filing of the written statement, the court will examine it and issue an appropriate order. The chief justice further observed that there were no restrictions over the powers of Commission of Inquiry for Enforced Disappearances.
He said that they will not comment as to why the commission was reluctant to record the statement of witnesses but said that it was a matter of fundamental rights of the people.Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, another member of the bench, observed that it was not necessary that all the missing persons were abducted by the secret agencies adding that may be some people became victims of personal rivalry
“Many people joined the Jehadi outfits. What happened to them later? Neither their relatives nor the agencies know their whereabouts,” Justice Saqib Nisar added.Head of the MQM Committee for Missing persons told the court that last month some of their 52 workers went missing The court also asked him to file a written statement in this regard. Later, the court adjourned the hearing till the first week of May.
In 2013, the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances (CIED) had recommended filing criminal cases against some 117 serving officials of law enforcement agencies allegedly involved in missing persons’ cases.
The commission, headed by Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, in its final report, which comprised 400 pages, had directed the interior and defence ministries to lodge criminal cases against some 117 officials of secret agencies, police and FC, said a senior official associated with the CIED. Around 415 of the 1,172 cases were disposed of by the commission, while the remaining 757 cases are still pending with the CIED.
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