Karachi: In an eagerly awaited major move, the Sindh High Court (SHC) finally wended to entertain human rights issues, directing the authorities for immediate production of details regarding women prisoners and alleged youthful offenders detained in prisons and facing miseries of the trial delay syndrome.
Chief Justice Wajihuddin Ahmad took up the matter on Monday asking the sessions and civil judges to decide humanitarian matters on priority basis. Since his appointment as the chief justice, Justice Wajihuddin has been very vocal over the human rights issues and on various occasions he had stressed the need to improve the situation on part of the judiciary.
He also ordered the judicial member inspection team (SHC) to regularly monitor the proceedings and disposal of all the cases pending because of an inordinate delay.
Regarding the women prisoners, the orders were issued in response to a summary prepared by the SHC’s registrar, Shbbbir Ahmed for all the cases, registered against them in all five districts.
It has been suggested that in each district, an additional district and session judge shall entertain the cases whereas the cases against the undertrial children, triable under Sindh Children Act of 1952, will be shifted to an additional presiding officer for expeditious disposal.
As per the figures provided by the superintendent Central Prison Karachi, there are 39 cases before the five district and sessions judges and 37 before the additional judges. Moreover, there are 24 cases pending before other magisterial, special, customs and civil courts.
Director General Sindh Judicial Academy, Justice (retd) Z A Channa, in this regard had moved a summary to the chief justice regarding such cases including those against women confined in the women’s section of the Youthful Offenders Industrial Schools.
Shahid lqbal Butt had appealed in his letter that he had been facing trial for his alleged involvement in a case of possessing illegal arms registered under 13-D Arms Ordinance. He has requested for the early disposal of the case as he had not been produced before the trial court for the last one year and had been confined since his arrest on August 10, 1992.
The chief justice took up the matter on higher level and ordered an enquiry to ascertain the number of undertrial prisoners languishing in prisons for over one year. He also ordered the trial judges to decide such cases on priority basis.
Source: The News