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KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khan Khosa on Thursday dismissed an application of a murder accused seeking interim bail and deplored that the Sindh High Court had taken around five years to decide on the bail application.

While heading a two-judge bench, the chief justice expressed surprise over the inordinate delay in disposal of bail pleas and said that the appellant remained on interim pre-arrest bail for over five years and it could not be justified.

Appellant Pir Irshad Ali Shah through his lawyer moved an application before the SC seeking interim pre-arrest bail after the SHC dismissed his bail plea.

After hearing both sides, the bench dismissed the bail plea, and the appellant walked off. The investigating officer and policemen did not move to arrest him.

CJ irked by inordinate delay in decision on bail

The prosecution said that a murder case was lodged against the accused and others in April 2012 at the Tandojam police station after two groups clashed in a land dispute. The case is pending trial before a sessions court. The accused had moved the SHC for bail which was decided in 2018.

Narcotics case against SI

The bench also admitted an appeal of the state for hearing against cancellation of bail of a sub-inspector in a narcotics case.

SI Rasool Bux was arrested for allegedly carrying hashish last year and the SHC granted him bail. The state filed an appeal against the SHC order.

The CJP observed that the SHC considered the minimum punishment while deciding the bail instead of the maximum penalty, adding that it was inconsistent with basic principles.

The bench, also comprising Justice Faisal Arab, heard several appeals regarding interim bail and cancellation of bails at the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry. The bench will continue to hear cases on Friday.

Implementation of domestic violence law

The SHC on Thursday directed the provincial authorities to come up with a mechanism after due consultations for proper implementation of the domestic violence law.

While disposing of a set of petitions regarding domestic violence moved by several women, a single bench of the SHC headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar said that a special task force was required to enforce the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2013.

The SHC said that the doors of courts of magistrates must always be open to an aggrieved party as provided in Section 7 of the act and asked a member of the SHC inspection team to circulate copies of the law among all the magistrates and sought a report on a quarterly basis with regard to the cases of domestic violence and action taken on them.

It also asked all the DIGs to start an awareness campaign and refer the cases of domestic violence to the magistrates concerned for disposal in accordance with law till the finalisation of the committees and rescue force in each district.

It deplored that the provincial authorities had failed to meet the mandatory requirements and procedure regarding the implementation of the law passed in 2013.

Last month, the bench had directed the Sindh chief secretary to notify the commission and protection committees as required under the domestic violence law within a month.

It was informed that efforts were being made for complete implementation of the law, and that the commission had already been notified while the committees would be notified within 15 days and certain amendments would also be made in the act as well.

Published in Dawn, March 15th, 2019