SHC asks task force to trace missing children, submit report by Feb 20

Updated January 16, 2020

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The Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the provincial task force (PTF) for missing persons to take up the issue of 15 missing children and make recommendations for their recovery. — Wikimedia Commons/File
The Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the provincial task force (PTF) for missing persons to take up the issue of 15 missing children and make recommendations for their recovery. — Wikimedia Commons/File

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the provincial task force (PTF) for missing persons to take up the issue of 15 missing children and make recommendations for their recovery.

The two-judge SHC bench headed by Justice K.K. Agha also asked the DIG-CIA to make “best efforts” to find the whereabouts of these children.

The bench also sent the kidnapping case of a girl, who remained missing for around three years, to the trial court after the police informed it that a charge sheet had been filed against five suspects.

In the last hearing, the DIG had placed a report before the bench and contended that the missing girl had returned home after three years and a magistrate had recorded her statement.

In her statement, the girl deposed that in 2016 rickshaw diver Saleem took her away and brought her to the house of his sister in New Karachi and the woman and her husband, Allah Bux, sold her to Ali Nawaz for Rs2 million. She was then taken to Thatta where she was married to Gul Mohammad, adding that after a quarrel with her husband, she left Thatta and came back to Karachi.

Notice issued on plea seeking to frame rules for NAB

On Wednesday, police produced the 173 CrPC report before the bench informing it that all the five suspects had been charge-sheeted under sections 365 (kidnapping), 371-A (selling person for purposes of prostitution, etc ) and 371-B (buying person for purposes of prostitution, etc ) of the Pakistan Penal Code. After examining the report, the bench sent the matter to the trial court.

The DIG further informed the bench that as per the directive issued on the last hearing, advertisements regarding the remaining missing children had been published in newspapers and aired on news channels, but their whereabouts remained unknown. The bench again directed the DIG to continue efforts for their recovery and come up with a progress report on Feb 20.

The focal person for the provincial home department submitted that the next session of the PTF would be held on Jan 17. The bench asked the focal person to remain in contact with the DIG and ensure that this issue must be placed before the PTF on Jan 17. It also directed the PTF to take up the matter and make further recommendations for the recovery of the 15 missing children.

Earlier, on a directive of the SHC, the police had registered 23 FIRs regarding missing children at different police stations of the city and so far eight of them have returned home. The petition was filed in 2012 by a nongovernmental organisation seeking court directives to the provincial police for considering the missing children cases, who went missing in different parts of Karachi, and registering FIRs in this regard as well as proper investigation.

Notice on NAB rules

Another division bench of the SHC on Wednesday issued notices to the National Accountability Bureau and others on a petition seeking the formation of rules under the NAB Ordinance.

The petitioner contended that the NAB Ordinance was promulgated in 1999 and despite the passage of around 20 years the rules as required under Section 34 of the ordinance to carry out the purposes of the ordinance had not been framed.

The two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh issued notices to the prosecutor general of NAB and other respondents with the direction to file comments by Feb 12.

Advocate Tariq Mansoor petitioned the SHC and argued that neither NAB had framed rules nor notified in the official gazette for public information.

Impleading the NAB chairman, director general of NAB Sindh, federal secretary for law and justice and others as respondents, the petitioner further maintained that an inordinate delay on the part of the authorities concerned was against Section 24-A of the General Clauses Act, 1897 and articles 4, 9, 10-A and 14 of the Constitution.

He pleaded that the NAB chairman and DG be directed to frame rules on an urgent basis to carry out the purposes of the law. He also sought direction for other respondents.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2020