Judges offered closed-door briefing on missing persons

SC says head of the Commission on Enforced Disappearance can be changed if he doesn’t deliver


Our Correspondent February 27, 2018
PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Head of the Commission on Enforced Disappearance Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal has offered to brief the Supreme Court judges in their chamber on missing persons cases, particularly those related to the province of Balochistan

Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Sajid Ilyas Bhatti on Monday submitted a report on behalf of the commission before the apex court’s three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, which has hearing the missing persons’ case for the last couple of months.

The report said the commission had disposed of 3,000 cases of missing persons while 1,577 cases were still pending. It said Justice (retd) Iqbal, also the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), gave one hour every day to examine cases of the missing persons.

Appearing before the bench, Amina Masood Janjua, the Chairperson of the Defence of Human Rights, complained that the commission refused the cases referred to it by her. She requested the bench to appoint a new head of the commission.

IG is least bothered about missing children, observe judges

The bench noted that if the commission did not address grievances of families of the missing persons, the court would step in. It said the people urging the state to fulfil its obligations should be encouraged. The court also asked Janjua to furnish details of the cases entertained by the commission.

“We are groping in the dark. If someone is involved in any illegal act, he must be proceeded against in accordance with law. Nobody can be detained illegally,” said Justice Khan.

Inamur Rahim, the counsel for Amina Malik, wife of a missing person, told the bench that accused were not being allowed to engage counsels in their trial by the military courts. The bench asked him to share details in this regard.

The counsel said appeals had been filed by the accused for not being given the right to engage counsels. Later, the court directed the DAG to submit compensation policy regarding the families of missing persons.

Faulty stent case

During hearing of the substandard heart stents case, a committee of senior doctors submitted a report before another SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar. The report said the cost of placing a cardiac stent could now be reduced from Rs0.3 million to less than Rs0.1 million.

Dr Azhar Kiyani informed the court that the maximum cost of placing a cardiac stent was Rs93,000.

The CJP said reducing the cost of stent to Rs0.1 million is great news. “You made my day,” he added.

Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, another member of the bench, remarked, “You have given a gift of life to the people.”

Missing persons: Around 1,500 cases still pending with commission, SC told

The court ordered that the committee’s report be sent to the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan, provincial information ministers and national health authorities. It also directed all institutions to present their recommendations on the report within 10 days.

In January last year, the CJP took notice of reports that some hospitals in Lahore were either unnecessarily recommending stents or charging patients up to Rs180,000 for each stent, which actually costs no more than a few thousand rupees.

The bench also sought details of all projects for which famous scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand was given a budget. Dr Mubarakmand told the bench that Rs3.7 billion had been spent on Thar Coal Project but it was only producing 10MW electricity.

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