KARACHI: An antiterrorism court has issued a notice to the provincial authorities on a contempt application filed by chief of the outlawed Peoples Amn Committee Uzair Baloch regarding non-provision of necessary facilities to him at the Mitha Ram Hostel despite the court’s directives.

The detention facility is being maintained by the Sindh Rangers and Uzair has been kept there following his conviction by a military court in April 2020 in an espionage case.

The alleged Lyari kingpin has also been facing trial in dozens of cases of murder, kidnapping, encounter with police during the 2012 operation in Lyari and running an extortion racket under the patronage of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party leadership and police high-ups.

He moved a contempt application before the ATC-II judge when he was brought before the court in connection with an illegal arms and explosives case.

He asked the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against prison authorities for allegedly not providing him necessary facilities in compliance with the Aug 17, 2020 order of the court.

He submitted that “till today no facility has been provided by the authorities”.

The judge issued a notice to the special public prosecutor to submit his reply to the contempt plea on the next date of hearing.

The judge also directed the SSP concerned to ensure production of the witnesses of the prosecution for recording their testimonies against the accused, as the investigating officer had been failing to produce them despite repeated directives of the court.

In June 2020, the superintendent of the Karachi central prison had informed an ATC that Uzair Baloch had been shifted from jail to the Mitha Ram Hostel.

The court was informed that the home department issued a notification dated June 9, 2020 stating that in consideration of reports about security concerns, the Sindh government had notified the facility on the premises of the Sindh Rangers Mitha Ram Hostel as a sub-jail to keep safe custody of the Lyari gangster.

The home department had notified that the officials nominated by the inspector general of prisons shall be responsible for supervision and administration of the sub-jail while the Rangers and police shall be responsible for its external security.

It had further notified that the paramilitary force and the law enforcement agencies shall take all possible security measures to avert any chance of criminal act or threat to the inmate and the staff posted with him at the sub-jail.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2023

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