The Supreme Court Thursday observed that Sindh home department is running a parallel judicial system while there was not a semblance of law and order in the city.
Last year, the chief justice had taken suo moto notice on the worsening security situation in Karachi and later the Supreme Court had given its detailed order in the case.
On Thursday, a five-member SC larger bench – comprising Justices Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Sarmad Jalal Osmany, Khilji Arif Hussain, Gulzar Ahmed and Amir Hani Muslim – was seized with the proceedings for the implementation of the apex court’s order.
A report about the culprits released on parole was presented in the court. IG Jail Zafar Bokhari told that 226 persons were released on parole. The court observed that 193 among the released accused were convicted and sentenced. IG Jails said that those 193 persons were released on the basis of “good conduct”. The court inquired as to what he meant by good conduct. “Had these people started offering salat and fasting in the jail,” the court asked.
Justice Sarmad remarked that only a judicial magistrate can release someone on parole. Prosecutor General Shahadat Awan said that judicial magistrate had no record with him about the conduct of the accused in jail. The IG Jails said the said persons were set free at the directives of the home department. The court while expressing annoyance observed that the Sindh home department had set up a parallel judicial system. Justice Sarmad remarked, “We are fighting against the terrorists and the government is releasing them.”
Justice Amir reprimanding the IG Jails asked on what grounds the original record of such accused was handed over to parole committee. “It may alter the record at will.” If this has to be done then the jail gates should be opened and whosoever wills may stay in jail and whosoever wills may leave the jail, he observed. “The way you are working demands that you should go to jail instead of the accused.”
Justice Khilji said in 2003, 35 such accused were released on parole against whom cases were pending. Justice Anwar said someone was “Kala” and someone “Dunba” among those released in 2003. The government released hardened criminals, he added. Justice Sarmad asked from Additional Secretary Interior Wasim Ahmad as to who was Sindh CM in 2003. Wasim replied it was ex-CM Arbab Ghulam Rahim, who had sent the summary for their release. Wasim also said that the CM later had directed Sindh IG to arrest the accused again but it could not be done.
Justice Anwar said one among those released on parole was “Chacha” who was involved in 5 murder cases. Such people were set free who were involved in murder and kidnapping for ransom cases. Justice Sarmad told the IG Jails to inform the court on next hearing on what basis the accused involved in heinous crimes are released on parole.
Justice Amir said there was need to launch comprehensive operation against the criminals in Karachi. The reports about presence of Taliban in Karachi are finding way in different newspapers. Why the operation has not been carried out against them so far, he asked. Earlier the police presented its report on targeted killings in the court. It was said in the report that 2,381 murder cases were registered during 13 months and police arrested 761 accused. Over 3,000 accused are at large.
The court was informed that terrorists had targeted high-ranking police officials on several occasions. The bench stated that anything was possible in a country where even killers of police officials could not be arrested. Additional IG Bashir Memon told the court that police was conducting targeted operation. Justice Sarmad said court be informed how many accused had been apprehended during the operation.
The bench inquired as to what Rangers personnel had accomplished that Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Waseem Ahmed had praised them. The court asked if Waseem’s praise meant that police in Karachi should be replaced with the Rangers. To a question from Justice Khilji, Waseem said that Rangers were deployed in the city since 1995. Justice Khilji inquired as to what result they produced in these 18 years. The court ordered for sending Rangers back to borders and directed for spending Rangers’ budget on police.
The bench summoned a list of people murdered during the past one year as well as a monthly report on the city’s public transport. Justice Khilji in his remarks said that 90 per cent of the city’s population was undergoing immense mental stress, adding that, each killing led to creating fear and panic amongst the public. He said the police had been labelling murders as targeted killings on its whim, adding that it was ordinary people who had been dying.
Justice Amir remarked: “You are fighting against the terrorists and on the other hand non-registered vehicles are challanned only for one hundred rupees. Advocate general Sindh told only fine can be levied on such vehicles as per law, adding that Excise department personnel say the owner will come to them and they will register the vehicles. Justice Sarmad ordered to impound all such vehicles, saying that illegal vehicles are used in the crimes.