KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has asked the provincial authorities to work out a standard operating procedure (SOP) with regard to the detention of a person or suspect for 90 days under Protection of Pakistan Ordinance.
Headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar a division bench of SHC, while hearing a petition against detention under new anti-terror law, instructed the provincial government to formulate a SOP to ensure that if a person is detained for 90 days under the law, not only joint investigation team (JIT) is formed immediately but also a JIT report submitted within a reasonable time so that any person is found innocent in JIT’s findings be released immediately or if found offender be dealt with in accordance with law.
These directions came on a petition filed by Muhammad Nadeem Rana, who moved the court against paramilitary forces for detaining his son unlawfully. The son of the petitioner, Muhammad Hanif Rana, was detained under Section 11EEEE (1) of ATA, 1997 and Protection of Pakistan Ordinance by the Rangers. However, he was released after the JIT found him to be innocent.
Home secretary informed the court that he notified constitution of JIT soon after he received letter from Rangers officials on 7 May 2014. He said that JIT conducted probe into the arrest of petitioner’s son on July 11 and disclosed that no material was found against accused so he was cleared and released.
The judges, however, expressed displeasure over delay in constitution of JIT, which the court observed was, due to lack coordination among the law-enforcers. “The purpose of detaining a person in the preventive detention is to conduct an inquiry and verify his credential as to whether he is involved in any such act requiring his detention under the law or not. For this purpose JIT is to be formed by home department”.
They noted that the purpose of 90-day detention does not mean that the JIT should be formed at a time when detention period is about to end or it is formed earlier to submit a report at a time when detention period ends.