Fitting closure?: In a first, ‘missing’ person’s widow to get Rs1 million as compensation

Farmanullah went missing last year and was later found dead near the motorway.


Umer Farooq July 03, 2013
Both the federal and provincial government will pay Rs0.5 million each to the deceased’s widow. DESIGN: SIDRAH MOIZ KHAN/FILE

PESHAWAR:


The widow of a previously ‘missing’ person will be the first of many such bereaved people to receive financial compensation by the government.


Farmanullah initially went missing from Nauthia, Peshawar in 2012, but his remains were found stuffed in a gunny bag within the jurisdiction of Prang police station, Charsadda in January 2013. Police suspected Farmanullah was killed in the custody of secret agencies.

In what could be a precedent for such cases, both the federal and provincial government will pay Rs0.5 million each to the deceased’s widow as per the orders of the Peshawar High Court (PHC).



Earlier, Farmanullah’s mother Hameeda Bibi filed a habeas corpus petition which led the court to direct both governments to compensate Farmanullah’s widow so she could provide for her daughter.

On April 17, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) directed the federal government, Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (Safron) and the home secretary to pay the widow Rs1 million. However, the orders were not complied with.

During the case hearing on Wednesday, officials from the finance division informed a PHC division bench the federal government released Rs0.5 million for the deceased’s widow.

The official said Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) has been asked to adjust the amount against the head of the account. However, the bench – comprising PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Qaisar Rashid – ordered the amount be paid through a cross cheque by a senior official.

Representing the K-P government, Additional Advocate General Naveed Akhtar said the provincial government is also arranging Rs0.5 million for the widow. The amount will be paid by the next case hearing, added Akhtar.

The PHC has been hearing around 20 other petitions of the same nature. At the last hearing, the court asked the investigation team to expedite their inquiry so the culprits behind the killings are brought to justice.

Meanwhile, the official from the finance division also produced a letter before the court, inscribed with details for advertising the installation of night vision CCTV cameras on the motorway – from Jehangira till Peshawar Toll Plaza.

The orders for installing cameras on the motorway were issued by the PHC after Farmanullah’s murderers could not be tracked down. The court observed installing cameras would help reduce crimes on the thoroughfare and warned everything should be up to to the mark as it would depute officials to check the quality of vision and the focal length range of the CCTV cameras once installed.

The hearing was adjourned till July 18.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2013.

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