Legal experts, while criticising the tribal courts, said despite the timeframe given by the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), to decide cases, the tribal courts have failed to do so.
Lawyers expressed their frustration with the court of Commissioner FCR Tariq Jamil, when it adjourned the hearing of the alleged CIA informant Dr Shakil Afridi for the third time.
On June 1, Shakil Afridi filed a review petition against the orders of the Assistant Political Administration (APA) Jamrud Nasir.
On May 23, the APA’s court sentenced Shakil to 33years in prison for allegedly assisting the banned Lashkar-e-Islam.
The first hearing of the appeal took place on June 21, which was adjourned on July 19 and again on August 30. Due to the absence of the Commissioner FCR Jamil on Thursday, the case was adjourned yet again, until September 27.
According to Shakil’s counsel, Samiullah Afridi, the FCR’s commissioner who also is the commissioner Peshawar, had left for Nowshera to visit the flood affected areas.
Samiullah Afridi told The Express Tribune that Section 60 of the amended FCR clearly states “any appeal filed against orders of the political or assistant political agent shall lie before the commissioner FCR where the commissioner FCR shall decide the case within 60 days.”
He added that the delay was a clear violation of the law.
When contacted, President of the Fata Lawyers’ Forum, Ijaz Mohmand, said the FCR, even after being amended by the President Asif Ali Zardari in August 2011, was still a black law and was unacceptable for the tribesmen.
“This is not only Shakil, but I can tell you about dozens other cases. People are being kept for several months under lockup and their cases are yet to be decided”, Mohmand said.
He said that meetings were held with the Chairman Senate Farooq H Naek and Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar, but to no avail.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2012.