ISLAMABAD: The Islam­abad High Court (IHC) on Monday asked the additio­nal attorney general (AAG) to take up the missing persons’ cases with the federal cabinet and inform the court about the government’s policy in this regard.

An IHC division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb was hearing an intra-court appeal filed by the federal government against the order of the IHC single-member bench.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah, while disposing of a petition filed by Mahera Sajid, spouse of missing IT engineer Sajid Mehmood, had directed the federal government to compensate the family of the missing person.

The IHC division bench asked AAG Qasim Wadud the reason for filing the appeal against the order.

Mr Wadud replied that the court had imposed a heavy fine on the federal government. He referred to a previous decision by the Supreme Court in which an amount of Rs2,000 had been imposed as a fine on the government in a similar case in 1999.

Justice Aurangzeb reminded the AAG to read some judgements of Indian courts as imposing fine on the government was not an unusual phenomenon.

Mr Wadud pointed out that the government had also filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.

“Was the appeal filed to stop the IHC from proceeding in this case?” the court asked, adding that the government had delayed the filing of the appeal in the Supreme Court for over one and a half years.

Mr Wadud requested the court to adjourn the case since he had forgotten to bring the case file in which he prepared the arguments.

Justice Farooq expressed his displeasure and advised the AAG to respect the court’s decorum.

Umer Gillani, the counsel for Mahera Sajid, told the court that spouse of his client had gone missing in 2015 and the stance of the federal government had remained the same in over 60 hearings.

The court adjourned the hearing till next month.

Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2021

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