Notices issued to interior secretary, FIA DG in missing person case

Published May 13, 2021
The Sindh High Court has issued show-cause notices to the federal secretary of ministry of interior and the director general of Federal Investigation Agency for flouting SHC directives in a petition of a missing person. — Wikimedia Commons/File
The Sindh High Court has issued show-cause notices to the federal secretary of ministry of interior and the director general of Federal Investigation Agency for flouting SHC directives in a petition of a missing person. — Wikimedia Commons/File

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has issued show-cause notices to the federal secretary of ministry of interior and the director general of Federal Investigation Agency for flouting SHC directives in a petition of a missing person.

The two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha said that the secretary and the DG FIA were directed twice to collect and produce reports from the interment centres and submit travel history of the missing person, but they violated both orders and ordered them to appear on May 27.

When the bench took up a petition, seeking whereabouts of a man who was reportedly taken away from his house in the Ancholi locality in February 2017, for hearing, the investigating officer of the case submitted a progress report.

He submitted that a session of provincial taskforce on missing persons was held on April 22 which made some recommendations for the recovery of missing persons.

The bench directed the IO to ensure that all such recommendations were carried out prior to the next date of hearing and also sought a detailed progress report.

It noted that on Feb 25, the DG FIA was ordered to submit travel history of the missing person well before the next date and likewise the secretary of ministry of interior was also directed to collect the reports from interment centres and produce the same before the court without fail.

However, the bench said neither order had been complied with by the DG FIA, nor by the interior secretary and on March 31 such directions were once again issued.

But again the compliance has not been made which revealed that they have violated two orders of the bench and have no respect of these court orders, it added.

“Under these circumstances, we have no option but to issue show cause notice to both the DG FIA and secretary ministry of interior as to why they should not be proceeded with for contempt of this court orders”, the bench in its order said.

It also directed them to appear before it on next hearing along with their replies to the show-cause notices and further asked the DG FIA to submit travel history of the missing person and the secretary of interior to provide details of all interment centres and persons detained therein.

The petitioner approached the SHC in 2017 and contended that on Feb 10, 2017 some persons in plain clothes came to their house and forcibly took away her son Ali Raza Zaidi without disclosing any reason.

She further maintained that they approached the area police station and other authorities concerned, but the whereabouts of her son remained unknown.

It may be recalled that earlier the same bench had also issued a show-cause notice to secretary of ministry of interior in some other identical cases for repeatedly flouting its directives by not submitting details from the internment centres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regarding missing persons.

The bench had also come down heavily on the federal authorities for taking little interest in identical cases and deplored that no legislation had so far been made against enforced disappearances.

It had further remarked that the federal government had been raising hue and cry about tracing out the missing persons, but it appeared from the conduct of the secretaries of interior and defence that this was only for optics and no practical action was being taken.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2021

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