The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday called for a detailed report on all 'missing' persons held at all government facilities as it started hearing an application filed by the chairperson of the Defence of Human Rights organisation, Amina Janjua.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan ordered the interior ministry to provide a detailed account of everyone being held and their crimes.
"Why have these people been held without any charges filed against them," questioned Justice Khan. "If someone has committed a crime, they should be punished after trial."
He added that the interior ministry's report should explain why people have been held captive for years without any trial proceedings against them.
Janjua — who was representing missing persons — presented her own report regarding the issue to the apex court.
According to the report, the Inquiry Commission for Missing Persons received 4,229 cases since March, 2011.
From there, the report said, the commission has so far wrapped up 2,939 cases. However, Janjua claimed before that people are still being forcefully abducted.
"The highest judicial office of the country has no answer to give to the loved ones of the missing persons who have been doing the rounds of the courts in search of their loved ones for years, " Justice Khan observed.
The bench ordered that all persons held in detention centres should be allowed to meet their relatives within a week.
The hearing was subsequently adjourned until November 13.