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KARACHI, July 29: The Malir jail authorities released 27 convicts on an assurance of a non-governmental organisation that it would soon pay the fine the prisoners had to pay after serving out their sentences for release, claimed the NGO.

During their visit to the jail on Saturday, district and sessions judge, Malir, Mohammad Yameen along with chief of the NGO working for the welfare of prisoners Haq Nawaz Akhtar and others were told by the prisoners that they had served out their terms but were unable to pay the fine imposed by courts on them.

The NGO representatives requested the jail authorities to release the prisoners as they would pay their fine totalling up to Rs28,000 shortly.

Haider Ali Haider of Saiban said that the jail authorities accepted their request and released the prisoners so that they could spend Ramazan with their families. He said that freed prisoners were given Rs21,000 for travel and other expenses. Some of them hailed from Quetta, Mardan, Lahore and Chichawatni.

Asked as to how the jail authorities had released the prisoners without getting the fine first, Mr Haider said that the NGO had been working with the jail authorities for quite long and a trust-based relationship had been developed. He insisted that prisoners were released once commitment was made. The NGO paid the fine when it received the bill / receipt of the fine amount from jail, he added.

Responding to Dawn queries, DIG prison Nusrat Magan said that the laid-down procedure was that first the fine payment was recovered then the prisoners were released. He, however, was not aware of this specific case.

Nobody at the Malir jail was available for comment.