Adiala prisoner deaths: SC puts ISI, MI chiefs on notice

Published: January 25, 2012
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The Supreme Court has taken notice of the alleged kidnapping and deaths of prisoners from the Adiala Jail and summoned the attorney-general of Pakistan and the chiefs of the Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence. PHOTO: FILE

The Supreme Court has taken notice of the alleged kidnapping and deaths of prisoners from the Adiala Jail and summoned the attorney-general of Pakistan and the chiefs of the Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has issued notices to the chiefs of Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence agencies to explain the circumstances leading to the deaths of four men being tried under the Army Act.

Eleven prisoners, convicted for attacking the Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and the ISI’s Hamza Camp, had gone missing from the Adiala Jail, and four were later found dead.

The three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, also issued notices to the defence secretary, the Advocate-General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq and the accused commandant. The respondents have been told to file replies in the next hearing on January 30.

The orders were passed on Wednesday when the court took up a constitutional petition for hearing, after removing objections raised over it by the Registrar office.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, while hearing the case on Wednesday, said that when this case was brought before the SC, the court was told that the prisoners are under the custody of intelligence agencies and are being tried under the Army Act. “Now, four of them are dead. It must be found out how they died.”

The CJP asked the Pakistan Army’s legal officer if it were true that the four prisoners were killed. “If they have been murdered, then this is a grave issue.”

Petitioner Rohifa, through her counsel Barrister Tariq Asad, had petitioned the court for provision of ‘due process of law’ to her three sons Syed Abdus Saboor, Syed Abdul Basit and Syed Abdul Majid.

“The matter is of public importance. There is apprehension of deaths of the remaining detainees,” the petitioner informed the court. After the Registrar raised objections to the petition, Syed Abdus Saboor was killed by intelligence agencies, his brother Mufti Shakoor told The Express Tribune.

Agencies had taken Saboor into custody along with his two brothers and eight others on charges of the attacks, Asad said.

Abdul Saboor, 29, is the fourth civilian detained in the case to have died in mysterious circumstances over the past six months. Earlier, Mohammad Aamir died on August 15, 2011, Tahseen Ullah on December 17, and Said Arab on December 18.

Justice Arif Khilji observed that the manner in which bodies were left on the road for collection reflected a sad state of affairs. Asad said the accused started leaving bodies by the roadside after the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar refused to accept them.

Earlier, Asad said, the families of at least three men, who had died in custody because of torture, were left at the Lady Reading Hospital for their families. In the missing prisoners’ case, officials had told the court that these men were in custody of intelligence agencies and were being tried under the Army Act.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Jan 25, 2012 - 4:11PM

    This game is changing fast…

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  • Khurram Mansoor
    Jan 25, 2012 - 4:22PM

    Yes the whole truth should be unearthed. And this puts a great question on our intelligence institutions.

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  • daredevil
    Jan 25, 2012 - 4:23PM

    The Lahore High Court has in fact set these men free in May 2010. But they were never freed.

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  • Roflcopter
    Jan 25, 2012 - 4:28PM

    @Ali Salman Alvi, only because great generals like Kiyani and Pasha are allowing it to change. All credit goes to them.

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  • Jan 25, 2012 - 4:51PM

    Murder of the slain journalist Saleem Shahzad should also be questioned…

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  • Khan
    Jan 25, 2012 - 4:55PM

    Well if our Intelligence agencies which are run by the Army thinks these people were really criminal then why aren’t they asking legislators to make strong Anti terror laws where any one caught on the crime scene can be prosecuted under closed doors (where accused don’t see judge or prosecutors face to face) unless they can prove they are innocent (like Lal Masjid’s burqa clad ninja cleric) instead of beating every one to death regardless of their involvment in crimes.

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  • Jan 25, 2012 - 4:56PM

    The Chief Justice also shall see how many innocent persons are jailed or awaiting death on false blasphemy accusations.

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  • Saleem
    Jan 25, 2012 - 5:02PM

    Great precedent , dont we have enough examples where the courts have set the criminals loose due to the threats or high accessibility and funds being operated by the criminals. So many innocent deaths could have been avoided if the culprits would have been brought to task. So many times terrorist attacks happened where we came to know that the terrorist were earlier arrested but given out of jail card by the courts ! Even in corrupt system of ours does anyone realize that there are few courageous souls who risk their life and limb to apprehend these terrorists as part of the duty. Not for the sitting high up using their catch to settle scores !!!
    In any other country be it US or UK or Saudi any threat to national interest is dealt with utmost severity but not in our dear Pakistan where such terrorists roam the streets freely.Recommend

  • karachi
    Jan 25, 2012 - 5:38PM

    Agencies need to look after the country… the judges too scared to take on terrorist and hang them.. and instead set them free.. only for these barbarians to strike back.. at society.. judges are only here to go after political parties like PPP.. i am not ppp supporter and cant wait for change (imran khan/musharraf) but why doesnt judiciary see corruption of pml N.. or the hijacking case against pmln. my friends and principal were on that plane.. the hijacking was real.. and not fabricated…

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  • Farhan Gilgiti
    Jan 25, 2012 - 5:38PM

    This is the only way the Supreme Court can restore its image, which it has lost by toeing to the lies uttered by Mansoor Ijaz.

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  • Ishrat Salim
    Jan 25, 2012 - 6:17PM

    Law is applicable to all & nobody is abv law….let law take its course & expose all such elements who bring bad name to the country…Recommend

  • Akhtar
    Jan 25, 2012 - 7:06PM

    Muslims are killing Muslims in this land of the pure. Khilafa is the only way.

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  • Rt. Rev. Wrong
    Jan 25, 2012 - 7:48PM

    @Akhtar: “Muslims are killing Muslims in this land of the pure. Khilafa is the only way.”

    You seem to have learnt history from Nasim Hijazis type “historians” rather than through history texts, otherwise you would not have wished for “Khilafa.”

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  • Coolbreeze
    Jan 25, 2012 - 7:55PM

    Notice is not solution to the complex situation; but judiciary need to do justice in terrorism cases. Not a single terrorist ever hanged by Judiciary instead of several terrorist incidents and arrest of culprits. If Judiciary would not play its role then such acts would keep happening by Law enforcing Agencies, who arrest these terrorists after putting their lives to risk.

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  • bilal
    Jan 25, 2012 - 8:47PM

    Pakistan is fast changing…………

    Justice for all, everyone is innocent if proven guilty !! Our law enforcement agencies should work harder to make a strong case for those who have done crimes so that judiciary can take decisions based on law. Legislations should be done in order to improve anti terrorist laws and public safety laws.

    Excellent step by Chief Justice….This SC is setting a great precedent for the supremacy of law. First taking on government and all its institutions then moving against Memogate scandal. Then Asghan Khan petition and this one…. Excellent job ( JUSTICE FOR ALL )
    PEACE !!

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  • nnk
    Jan 25, 2012 - 10:00PM

    @Coolbreeze:
    I agree entirely with your views. Hundreds of terrorists in Army custody are awaiting justice in Sawat / Malakand region even after months, because there is no civil administration in place, particularly the judicial courts.

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  • baibur
    Jan 25, 2012 - 11:07PM

    stop this madness of agencies

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  • Danish
    Jan 26, 2012 - 12:41AM

    To Respected CJ! Please sir, don’t waste the time on this non-sense issue. Those were just civilians, who might have been dead in any other way, a road side blast, because of a wrong medicine, because of an accident. Please Majesty! Don’t waste the precious time and please put the whole focus on more important issues, like this Memogate issue. People die, so what, the memogate issue must be solved.

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  • Haseeb
    Jan 26, 2012 - 12:48AM

    1% SC brings justice to media and at end there is no result…. what about the 99% of cases waiting…. they should bring every one to justice.

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