Rangers director-general to reveal ‘secrets’ in chamber

Apex court calls on Sindh government to prohibit automatic weapons for civilians


Naeem Sahoutara November 26, 2012

KARACHI:


The Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) director-general has some secrets on Karachi violence. The information is, however, classified so he cannot share it in open court.


The Supreme Court has allowed the Rangers representative’s request for his superior to speak to the judges in their chambers. The judges will hear the director general “in camera” tomorrow (Wednesday).

At the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry, a five-member bench resumed its hearing on the implementation of Karachi violence suo motu case on Monday. Picking up from where they had left off on November 1, the judges questioned the progress made by federal, provincial and local governments, law enforcement and paramilitary forces to ensure peace in Karachi since the last hearing.

Since October 23, the paramilitary force arrested 64 suspects in 63 raids and handed over all of them to the respective area police, said the deputy judge advocate general for Rangers, Major Ashfaq Ahmed.

The apex court rejected the report, questioning why the names of the suspects or the officers who arrested them were not mentioned. “It’s a vague report just like another report submitted earlier,” remarked Justice Amir Hani Muslim, who instructed a new list to be submitted containing the names of the arrested people, the officers who arrested them and the SHOs who were given the custody of the suspects.

“If the Rangers show one suspect and the police show another, the criminal will be released definitely no matter how dangerous he is,” Justice Muslim said, asking why Rangers officials do not join police investigation teams if they did not trust the police force.

Parole

The issue of undertrial prisoners released on parole took yet another turn on Monday, as the prosecutor general, Shahadat Awan, submitted that the IG Prisons had wrongly mentioned 34 convicts as undertrial prisoners, who had been acquitted by courts. “Did the government appeal against their acquittal,” questioned Justice Muslim, to which Awan conceded the state had never challenged their acquittals.

The judges pointed out that a convict, Muhammad Yousuf, who was sentenced to life for murder by a Bangkok court in 2000, was released on probation after being shifted to Pakistan. Yousuf was released on June 1 and his probation will expire in 2034, according to the prosecutor general’s report.

When the prosecutor general told the judges that the chief minister has been asked to revoke the probation of 25 convicts, who were released from June 1 to August 24 this year, the judges observed that lifers cannot be released on probation even if remissions were granted by the president.

Directing the government to revoke their probation at the earliest, the irate judges called the record of all convicts released on probation in Sindh since 1947.

Ban automatic weapons

The SC directed the Sindh government to prohibit all types of fully automatic weapons.

The order came as the additional home chief secretary, Waseem Ahmed, submitted the new Arms Policy 2012 in the apex court worked out by the Sindh government on the court directives. The judges even objected to the categorisation of weapons as prohibited bore and non-prohibited bore and called for all automatic weapons to be declared as “prohibited bore” for civilians.

The bench suggested that the data of criminals should be maintained and computerised. A police cell should be established to certify that a person applying for a weapon licence was not a criminal.  A similar cell should also be established in the prosecution department, they said.

Related stories on page 14

Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2012.

COMMENTS (1)

DAIS | 8 years ago | Reply

The matter of allowing citizens to carry automatic weapons or not should be decided by the representatives of the people and not by the judges. Beyond that, licensed weapons is not the problem, the concern should be about illegal weapons carried by criminals.

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