SC asked to form body to probe IGP’s ‘kidnapping’

Web Desk – October 28, 2020

ISLAMABAD: A group of public-spirited individuals, including veteran journalist and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s former chairman I.A. Rehman, approached the Supreme Court on Tuesday, seeking a declaration that the alleged kidnapping and detention of the inspector general of Sindh police as well as the illegal and mala fide interference in a criminal investigation gravely breached fundamental rights and impinged upon the provincial autonomy.

The petition, filed by senior counsel Faisal Siddiqui on behalf of Karamat Ali, Nazim Fida Hussain Haji, Mohammad Jibran Nasir, Mahnaz Rahman, Salima Hashmi, Zehra Bano, Mohammad Tahseen, Nasir Aziz, Farhat Parveen, Fahim Zaman Khan and Anis Haroon, sought to restrain the ministries of interior and defence as well as Pakistan Rangers from interfering in the jurisdiction and affairs of the Sindh IG.

The petition also sought constitution of a broad-based commission to inquire whether or not the IGP was kidnapped or detained on Oct 19 and then forced to issue arrest orders in relation to FIR No.591 of 2020 against retired Captain Mohammad Safdar of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). If it was a fact, it added, the commission should ascertain who were the people or institutions involved in those illegal and mala fide acts.

The petition said the commission should also recommend legal actions not limited to administrative proceedings against those involved in the illegal and mala fide acts and recommend reforms in order to avoid such acts in the future.

On Oct 22, Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), the top regulatory organisation of lawyers, had also taken strong exception to the reported kidnapping of the Sindh IG from his residence allegedly by some agencies.

In a joint statement, PBC vice chairman Abid Saqi, PBC member and Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Syed Qalb-i-Hassan and PBC executive committee chairman Azam Nazeer Tarar had regretted that members of some intelligence agencies allegedly forced the Sindh IG to issue orders for arrest of Captain Safdar, husband of PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz.

Now the fresh petition requested the Supreme Court to declare that the interior and defence ministries and Pakistan Rangers have no jurisdiction and legal authority to interfere in the jurisdiction and affairs of the IGP and that Rangers have to perform their lawful duties under the control of the Sindh government.

The petition argued that the present plea involved the question of public importance relating to the enforcement of fundamental rights of the petitioners for the reasons that if the IGP of a province could be kidnapped and detained then the fundamental rights, including the right to life and liberty under Article 9, right to dignity under Article 14 and right to due process under Article 10A of the Constitution of all citizens and persons living in the province of Sindh, have irreparably been prejudiced and the guarantee of fundamental rights has become unenforceable.

The petition contended that the fundamental rights in the Constitution, as well as the crucial function of the state to maintain law and order were irreparably damaged whereas the autonomy of police had been irreparably prejudiced by the kidnapping and detention of the IGP. It argued that the very foundations of the Pakistani state had been shaken by this illegal and mala fide act.

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