Ministry, army asked to follow court orders


Ppi August 06, 2010

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court issued notice to the Secretary of the Defense Ministry and Army’s Signal Battalion 84, Malir, Karachi, Friday for not complying with a court order over the detention of the battalion’s civilian employees since May 12.

A division bench comprising Justice Ghulam Sarwar Korai and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, also issued notice to the Deputy Attorney General for August 13 to file comments. Petitioner Amina approached the SHC, seeking the whereabouts of her husband Muhammad Mazhar, who was working as a civilian supervisor of communications at the Signal Battalion-84, Malir Headquarters, Karachi.

Advocate AR Mughal submitted that the petitioner’s husband, who joined as a civilian employee in 2007, went to work on May 12, but did not return. She approached the Malir Headquarters which informed her that he was in the custody of the wing Field Security-901. Later, they informed her that Mazhar was handed over to Signal Battalion-84 where officials said he was taken into custody for an inquiry into some previous cases.

Her counsel submitted that the petitioner had gone from pillar to post in search of her husband  but still did not know where he was. He contended that as Azhar was a civilian employee his case did not fall within the ambit of the manual of the Army Act.

The SHC’s division bench said: “The counsel for the petitioner contended that the petitioner’s husband Muhammad Azhar is illegally confined by Respondent 1 (Signal Battalion-84). Prior to this, the petitioner had filed another constitutional petition (1552/2010) on which this court has passed an order dated June 3, 2010.”

The court had directed that the petitioner be provided an inquiry report and be told about the charges against her husband so that she could act as permitted in terms of Article 10A of the Constitution. Mazhar needs to also be allowed to meet his family. The hearing was adjourned to August 13.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2010.

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