Biometric verification of prisoners started, SHC told

Updated September 24, 2019

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The SHC had ordered the jail authorities in 2015 to put the biometric system in place for the verification of prisoners. — Creative commons
The SHC had ordered the jail authorities in 2015 to put the biometric system in place for the verification of prisoners. — Creative commons

KARACHI: Jail authorities on Monday informed the Sindh High Court that the biometric verification of prisoners had been started in the prisons of Karachi and Hyderabad.

A two-judge SHC bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar was hearing a petition filed in 2013 that certain convicted prisoners in connivance with the jail authorities had replaced themselves with their namesakes in prisons by paying them hefty amounts of cash.

When the matter came up for hearing on Monday, the lawyer for petitioner submitted that the petition had been pending for the past seven years, but the court orders had not been implemented in letter and spirit.

However, a representative of the inspector general of prisons submitted a report which stated that that the biometric system for verification of prisoners at the Karachi central prison, Malir district jail and Hyderabad prison had been installed, adding that now the verification of prisoners was being made through biometric system.

The bench issued directives to provide the copy of the report to the petitioner’s lawyer.

The SHC had ordered the jail authorities in 2015 to put the biometric system in place for the verification of prisoners.

Sentence commuted

Another division bench on Monday commuted the 10-year sentence handed down to two appellants into five-year imprisonment in a case pertaining to robbery and attempted murder.

An antiterrorism court had sentenced Adil Zaman and Meer Kamran Samdani to 10 years in prison in April this year for possessing unlicensed weapons and attacking a police party after robbing complainant Abdul Sattar in July 2018 in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.

Both the convicts, through their counsel, challenged the trial court order before the high court.

The lawyer for appellants argued that they were not pressing the appeals on merit in the wake of evidence brought on record regarding their involvement.

However, the counsel pleaded for reduction in their sentence as he submitted that they were sole bread earners of their families and also first-time offenders.

A deputy prosecutor general supported the trial court order, but did not dispute the contention made by the appellants’ lawyer regarding reduction in their sentence.

After hearing both sides and examining the evidence, a two-judge bench of SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha converted the 10-year sentence into five years.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2019