KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued on Monday notices to the relevant federal authorities on a petition seeking the release of two brothers taken into custody over allegations of facilitating the Safoora Goth massacre last year.
Headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, the two-judge bench directed the federal law officer to submit comments of the relevant federal authorities by October 3.
The former deputy-director of the Fishermen Cooperative Society, Sultan Qamar Siddiqui, and his younger brother Muhammad Hussain Siddiqui were arrested on charges of facilitating the killing of 45 people in Karachi in May 2015.
The chief of army staff had signed the death warrants of five accused, including Saad Aziz alias Tin Tin, Tahir Hussain Minhas alias Sain, Asadur Rehman alias Malik and Mohammad Azhar Ishrat alias Majid after a military court had sentenced them to death.
Sultan's wife, Hira, had moved an application seeking the release of her husband and brother-in-law, who were handed over to the army following the transfer of their trial from the anti-terrorism court to the military court set up under the 21st Amendment.
Earlier, families of the Siddiqui brothers and another suspect, Naeem Sajid, had challenged the shifting of the trial to the military court, arguing that legal requirements had not been followed by the federal and provincial authorities while transferring the case.
A two-judge SHC bench had, however, dismissed their pleas, maintaining that the interior ministry, Sindh home ministry and other relevant authorities had fulfilled legal formalities in this regard.
The bench had further ruled that the three suspects could be tried by the military court.
Recently, the Siddiqui brothers' family moved a miscellaneous application informing that it had come to their knowledge that the two men had been found to be not involved in facilitating the executioners of the Safoora Goth attack.
In her miscellaneous application, Hira maintained that during the trial before the military court, the allegations levelled against her family members could not be established therefore, their detention did not make any sense.
The court was pleaded to order the authorities to release the detainees, who are said to have been kept in inhumane living conditions and suffering from ailments.
It was alleged that while the high court had earlier ordered the relevant authorities to provide medical treatment to Sultan and Muhammad, the same had not also been implemented.
On Monday, while taking up the plea, the bench issued notice to the federal law officer to file comments of the federal authorities by October 3.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2016.
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