Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Thursday directed the inspector general of police (IG) to submit challans of all prisoners before the courts, whose challans had not been submitted earlier.
IG Haji Habibur Rehman read out a report before the court stating that 2,316 prisoners were in the jails of the province without submission of their challans. He said show cause notices had been issued to 694 police officials in this regard.
The two member bench of the Supreme Court was hearing a bail petition of an accused Ali Nawaz, who had been arrested for allegedly killing his wife.
The IG told the court that 23,000 cases were under investigation in the province, over which the CJ said that the police must submit challans within 15 days. He pointed out that detaining an accused without submission of the challan was illegal and against human rights.
The bench gave the prosecutor general three days to submit interim challans if final challans were not prepared in this time. The CJ also ordered the magistrates to start trials of the prisoners on priority basis.
A lawyer told the court that the policemen had not produced Nawaz before a magistrate for the extension of his remand. Instead, he alleged, the police had kept him in jail by faking signatures of the magistrate. At this, the CJ said, “Is it some kind of a joke with the courts? Issuing show cause notices is not enough.”
The CJ ordered the IG to arrest the responsible police officials.
The CJ expressed dissatisfaction with the chief minister for not taking notice of such cases.
He also ordered the home secretary to send a report on Nawaz case to the chief minister.
He also ordered the home secretary to inform the court about the details of prisoners admitted to jail hospitals. “Those accused of fraud and corruption are shifted to jail hospitals. Later it comes out that they are suffering from nothing but depression,” the CJ said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2012.