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October 21, 2019

SC judge directs additional IG to resolve DNA lab’s funds issue: Justice Faisal Arab chairs meeting on affairs of ATCs


October 21, 2019

Senior Judge of Supreme Court Justice Faisal Arab has directed the Karachi additional IG to resolve the issue with regard to opening of escrow account for a DNA laboratory to meet its ongoing expenditures.

The direction came in a recent meeting regarding monitoring of anti-terrorism courts (ATCs) in the province, which was chaired by Justice Arab and attended by Sindh High Court judges Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Omer Sial, the ATCs’ administrative judge, prosecutor general, home secretary, an additional IG and others.

Prof Mohammad Iqbal Chaudhry, the head of the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, informed the meeting that the DNA laboratory had been fully established and as per the international standards for safety and security, the lab was as good as such labs anywhere in the world.

He said training was being given to police officers at the laboratory on sample collection. He added that the escrow account, which was to be opened to meet the ongoing expenditures, had still has not been opened, to which Justice Arab observed that as all the investigation-related funds were now with the police, the additional IG was supposed to look after the issue and resolve it in a timely manner.

Prosecutor General Faiz Shah informed the meeting that the chemical laboratory was in an unsatisfactory condition as 4,883 samples of 2019 cases were still under process. He said the chemical laboratory’s operations had been affected by lack of funds, equipment and trained staff. Justice Arab directed the prosecutor general to share his report with the home and health secretaries so that necessary steps could be taken for the laboratory’s improvement.

The meeting was informed that the chemical laboratory had outdated equipment and it needed to be revamped. Justice Arab directed the home secretary to bring the issue to the knowledge of the chief secretary so that the process of getting new equipment and hiring of new staff could be completed on an urgent basis.

Regarding the Malkhana in Karachi, the home secretary informed the meeting that the PC-I for the City Courts Malkhana had been prepared but the site had not been handed over to the authority concerned.

Justice Arab observed that the issue had been lingering on since long and directed the prosecutor general, who is the head of the committee to resolve the issue of Malkhana, to identify the location and submit a report within four weeks.

The meeting also discussed issues relating to the disposal of case properties and appointment of staff at the ATCs and directed the secretaries concerned to resolve them.

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