Missing persons traced to K-P detention centre, SHC told

Court summons HEC chairperson over appointments in KU's law dept


Our Correspondent August 25, 2021

KARACHI:

A two-member bench of the Sindh High Court, led by Justice KK Agha, directed the police on Tuesday to seek assistance from investigation agencies and other institutions for the recovery of missing persons.

Hearing a set of pleas pertaining to the recovery of missing persons, the bench directed the police to ensure results by the next hearing slated for September 21.

During the hearing, the family of missing Muttahida Qaumi Movement worker Furqan Khan sought the assistance of the armed forces for the recovery of missing persons. The family informed the court that Khan was detained by the Sindh Rangers seven years ago. At this, the Rangers counsel stated that after investigating detained persons for two to four days, the paramilitary force hands over the suspects to the police. "We have no interest in feeding anyone for seven years," said the counsel, denying the allegation.

Meanwhile, the federal government submitted a report stating that missing persons Farhat Ali, Abdul Rauf and Rehmat Ali have been traced. They are being kept at a detention centre in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, stated the report. The bench enquired where the reports from other detention centres were. At this, the government lawyer apprised the court that letters had been issued to all centres and institutions and replies were awaited.

'Inept' law faculty

Separately, the court summoned Higher Education Commission (HEC)'s acting chairperson on a petition filed against the law department of the University of Karachi for allegedly offering admissions in PhD in violation of policy.

The petitioner's counsel informed a two-member bench comprising Justice Salahuddin Pahanwar and Justice Adnanul Karim Memon that appointments have been made in violation of the HEC's admission policy. According to the policy, at least three faculty members must hold PhD degrees but at present no faculty member, including the dean of department, holds a PhD degree in the relevant field.

The court while summoning the acting HEC chairman also sought a progress report on the matter. The hearing was adjourned till September 16.

Explanation sought

The same bench sought clarification from the Sindh chief secretary on a contempt of court application against the non-removal of corrupt influential officials in violation of court orders.

The petition was filed against the non-removal of influential officials of the Sindh culture department involved in corruption despite court orders.

Read More: IHC blasts DIG over missing person’s case

The petitioner's counsel argued that the court had announced its verdict on application against non-removal of corruption officials from their positions but the orders have not been implemented. An inquiry by the National Accountability Bureau is underway against some of the officials but they have not been removed, contended the petition. Irked over non-compliance with judicial directives the court sought an explanation from the chief secretary and urged the hearing till September 29.

Notices issued

Meanwhile, a two-member bench, led by SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh, issued notices to the Sindh wildlife department (SWD) and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) East district on a petition regarding the plight of animals at the Karachi's mini zoo - Bagh-e-Rizwan.

The petitioner's counsel contended that the animals at Bagh Rizwan Zoo did not have required facilities as a result of which the condition of five ostriches, two alligators, deer, two turtles and rare species of birds in the mini zoo is deteriorating. The petitioner prayed the court to order the release of the animals in their natural habitat and direct the Sindh government to implement the Sindh Wildlife Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management Act 2020.

Contempt of court

Another two-member bench comprising Justice Irfan Saadat Khan and Justice Muhammad Faisal Kamal Alam issued a contempt of court notice to the administrator of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) on a petition challenging the sealing of seven shops in Jodia Bazar area.

The shopkeepers' counsel argued in his petition that his clients' shop had nothing to do with evacuee trust property but their shops were sealed in the name of Jogi Nath Trust. The petition stated that the property has been privately owned since 1960, demanding the de-sealing of shops situated in MR-110, Jodia Bazar.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2021.

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