Proper procedure: Court directs govt to provide death certificate of deceased detainee

Piyo Gul died at Lakki Marwat internment centre in 2013 following his arrest in November 2011.

Our Correspondent July 25, 2014


The Peshawar High Court has directed the provincial government to provide a death certificate to the relatives of a man who died in confinement at the Lakki Marwat internment centre last year.

A division bench of Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Musarrat Hilali issued the order while hearing a petition filed by Piyo Gul’s family. The petition states that Piyo Gul was travelling from Daggar to Sadda, Kurram Agency on November 3, 2011 when he was arrested from an army check post. He was then detained at the Lakki Marwat internment centre and on November 28, 2013 his body was handed over to his relatives. Authorities claimed Piyo Gul had died of natural causes.

On Thursday, the court directed the Khyber-Pakthunkhwa Home and Tribal Affairs Department to provide the death certificate to the bereaved family. The section officer of the home department, who was present in court, was also asked to give a specific date for when this would happen. Upon this, the officer asked the deceased’s father, Gul Mat Khan, to collect the certificate on August 8.

Custodial death

The petition said the family earlier met the detainee at the internment centre on the orders of the court but officials later refused to give them the death certificate. It also contended that Piyo Gul’s was not a natural death.

During the hearing on July 9, the court directed Additional Advocate General Mian Arshad Jan to submit a progress report on the provision of the death certificate, post-mortem report and whether medical assistance was provided to the deceased or not.

A letter written by the internment centre’s in charge maintained that the detainee was admitted to the hospital at the centre but died after experiencing severe chest pain.

His father claimed that Piyo Gul was arrested along with his vehicle and other luggage worth Rs0.7 million. The political agent of Kurram Agency, however, assured they would start searching for the luggage once the death certificate is furnished.

Central Prison Peshawar

District and sessions Judge Shaiber Khan visited Central Prison Peshawar on Friday and inspected several sections, including the hospital and canteen. He ordered the release of 23 prisoners incarcerated for minor offences, ahead of Eidul Fitr so that they may spend it with their families. Shaiber Khan was also briefed about facilities provided to prisoners, including food during Iftari and Sehri.

The sessions judge has the authority in the jail manual and National Judicial Policy 2009 to visit the prison on the last Friday of every month to inspect the condition of the facility. He also has the authority to arrange a camp court there and release those prisoners who have been imprisoned for petty crimes.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2014.

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