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March 28, 2020

69 more under-trial prisoners released

Karachi

March 28, 2020

As many as 69 under-trial prisoners, involved in cases of lesser punishment, have been released from the Malir district prison on the direction of Chief Justice Sindh High Court Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

A day earlier, the chief justice had ordered the release of as many as 829 under-trial prisoners involved in cases of lesser punishment offences so as to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. The prisoners were incarcerated in different prisons of the province.

The SHC has also discharged all cases before benches at the Karachi principal seat as well as at Sukkur, Larkana and Hyderabad circuit and benches except bail matters, and has also ordered precautionary measures.

Also on Thursday, the chief minister had tasked the home department with compiling a list of all the prisoners in the province so they can be provided relief according to the severity of their respective crimes and their health and financial status.

Syed Murad Ali Shah had taken the decision at the CM House, where he had presided over a meeting of the home department that was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah, Additional Chief Secretary Home Usman Chachar, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro and IG Prisons Nusrat Mangan.

The chief executive had said the list he had showed that 16,000 people were jailed across the province. “I want you to prepare a list of all the prisoners and divide them into different categories,” he said, adding that there should be different categories for under-trial and convicted inmates.

Shah said that in the under-trail prisoners’ list there should be different categories for inmates charged with heinous crimes and those charged with minor offences. He added that a separate list of the prisoners who are old and those who are sick should be compiled so that their cases can be considered accordingly.

He asked the home department to compile a separate list of the inmates who have completed their respective jail terms but have no money to pay the fine or penalty imposed on them. There should be a separate list of the prisoners who have been granted bail by the court but have no money or property to file their respective surety amounts, he said. “The provincial government will pay their fines and make arrangements for their sureties.”

The CM asked the home department to compile separate lists of women, children and foreigners in jails so that they may also be provided some relief keeping in view the severity of their respective crimes. He said the jails in the province are crammed full of people, so he is trying to release the inmates who can be provided relief within the ambit of the law.