SC proposes forming bench to implement 2014 judgement on minorities’ rights

Published: October 3, 2019
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The Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

The Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Thursday proposed to form a bench to implement the 2014 judgement in the protection of religious minorities’ rights case.

A three-member apex court bench resumed hearing the case and sought a report from the federal and provincial governments in the matter within a month.

The matter for the formation of the implementation bench was later referred to Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.

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In its landmark 2014 judgement, authored by then chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, the apex court had suggested a framework for the protection of minorities. One of the recommendations in the verdict was also the creation of a national council to oversee the matters of the minorities.

The SC on Thursday stressed that the commission for minorities’ rights should be given a space for its office with all the required staff.

During the hearing, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA and Hindu Council Chairman Dr Ramesh Kumar prayed upon the court that “the chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) should be from the minority group.”

“Some 15 to 23 members of the ETPB are Muslims,” he added.

“Mr Ramesh Kumar, you are the government and you are in the court?” asked Justice Faisal Arab and continued, “You get your demands fulfilled by your own government.”

Simon Pyara, another applicant said: “The compensation money for the victims of the deadly 2013 twin blasts on a church in Peshawar still rests with the disaster management authority, however, it was supposed to be given to those who were affected.”

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“We are here to implement our judgement,” Justice Ijazul Ahsan assured on this occasion.

Justice Hassan Bandial said, “Kartarpur Corridor is a huge development. Every human has a right to worship as per his or her religion.”

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