Missing persons’ case: SHC appoints 2 lawyers to assist court

Karachi: Sind High Court SHC on Wednesday appointed two senior lawyers as amicus curie to assist the court on question of jurisdiction in cases of missing persons confined under the Actions in Aid of Civil Power Regulation 2011.

Headed by Chief Justice, the division bench was hearing petition of Ali Khan submitting that his three brothers had been detained by the law enforcing agencies. The petitioner submitted that on Nov 22, 2012 rangers’ officials took away his three brothers – Akbar Khan, Momin Khan and Hazrat Khan.

Actions in Aid of Civil Power Regulation 2011 provide legal cover to the armed forces for prolonged preventive detention in tribal areas.

On a previous hearing, DSP Zahid Hussain, who was appointed investigation officer in the missing brothers’ case on court order, submitted in his report that Akbar Khan and Momin Khan were in an internment centre , Fiza Ghat Army Camp, in Swat under Action in aid of Civil Power Regulation 2011

On Wednesday, the IO filed a progress report stating that a police party headed by Inspector Latif Khattak of Peerabad police station went to Swat for searching the missing persons.

He said that the searching party along with the local police went to the army camp where they were not allowed entry by the army personnel, nor were they told about the status of the missing persons.

The bench observed that it had earlier directed the authorities concerned to inform the court as to when and whom the detainees were handed over.

Meanwhile, the court appointed Advocates Abdur Rehman and Salahuddin Ahmed as amicus curie to assist the court on the matter as to whether the information of internees picked up from Karachi could be procured by the court.

The court was also informed that one of the counsels involved in this case was followed and intimidated by unknown personnel who also clicked his picture in the fast moving car.

The bench observed that it showed that some personnel of agencies were intimidating the counsel to desist them from assisting the court.

The court directed the federal and provincial law officers to notify the concern of court in this regard and warned the law enforcement agencies personnel to be careful in such attempts as they would be held responsible for it.

The bench put off the hearing to March 27 after Deputy Attorney General Muhammad Ashraf Mughal sought time obtaining information from the concerned authorities.