There’s no rule of law in jails, observes IHC CJ

Notes that under-trial prisoners continue to fill prisons despite legal notion of ‘innocent until proven guilty’


APP January 12, 2022
FILE PHOTO

ISLAMABAD:

Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Wednesday remarked that there is no rule of law in jails while under-trial prisoners continue to fill these prisons despite the legal notion of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

The Ministry of Human Rights on Wednesday submitted its report to the IHC pertaining to the human rights situation in Adiala Jail.

The report stated that there was limit of 2,100 prisoners in Adiala Jail but 5,799 were housed, adding that there were influential prisoners in Bhakar and Adiala Jails.

The court converted a letter of a prisoner into a petition for hearing and CJ Minallah heard the case.

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At the outset of hearing, the director general of the Ministry of Human Rights submitted a report on the directives of the bench and said that his ministry had formed a fact-finding committee on the issue.

The chief justice observed that there was too much corruption in jails and asked how it could be curtailed. The court said that the letter of the prisoner had revealed that there was no rule of law even in jails.

The bench noted that it was an issue of human rights, adding that there were majority of under-trial prisoners in jails. Every accused is considered innocent until he is convicted, the court said.

The DG informed the bench that there were separate barracks for women and children in jails.

Deputy Attorney General Syed Tayyab Shah said that the judges should conduct surprise visits of jail for betterment of human rights situation.

The chief justice remarked that the jail manual was not being implemented, adding that someone had to take responsibility of the situation in jails.

The bench asked what was wrong if the media was given access to prisoners in jails for their interviews.

The case was then adjourned till February 8.

 

 

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