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March 31, 2020

PHC takes up bail pleas on priority due to corona

Peshawar

March 31, 2020

PESHAWAR: Taking measures to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, the Peshawar High Court is taking up bail applications on a priority basis.

The court has disposed of 136 cases while judiciary at the district level has released 222 prisoners from jails involved in petty crimes in the last one week, an official said on Monday. The PHC chief justice while applauding the district judiciary for taking timely precautionary measures, called for observing the safety measures strictly and to fight this pandemic in a befitting manner, especially after public holidays are over, said an official communiqué.

The administrative judges of the PHC during the last week visited prisons in Mardan Peshawar, Swabi, and Nowshera and 33 prisoners were released on the spot. The judges took serious notice of the congestion of prisoners in jails in Nowshera and Swabi. They issued the directions to authorities concerned to take all necessary steps for decongestion of prisoners.

An official said the cell headed by the registrar of the PHC has been established at the Peshawar High Court to monitor the situation in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. The PHC via a letter dated February 29 issued directions with regard to the precautions against the spread of coronavirus. It included stop shaking hands and quitting biometric attendance of the staff.In order to avoid attendance of under-trial prisoners, the PHC has directed the district and sessions judges to depute a magistrate for daily jail visits in connection with the matters falling under Section 344 CrPC. The district judges have been directed to ensure screening visitors on the court premises on a regular basis by procuring thermal guns and to establish quarantine centres in collaboration with the district administration.

The judges were directed to provide sanitizers, masks, gloves to judicial officers as well as to ministerial staff of the Courts. For the officers and staff working at the Peshawar High Court, Peshawar and its benches sanitizers, masks, gloves have been provided to all the principal officers. Sanitizers were also placed at the corridors for the use of ministerial staff. A quarantine centre has been established at the BHU of the PHC to cope with emergency situations. The regular screening of visitors is carried out through thermal guns to gauge their temperatures. All the employees of the PHC were directed to adopt safe work practices. The principal officers and staff recite the Holy Quran for seeking the blessings of the Almighty Allah to shield them against this pandemic. A video conference presided over by the chief justice offered special prayers for the country and all over the world.