KARACHI: The Sindh Supreme Court has expressed displeasure at the undue delay in finding and recovering missing persons and has directed law enforcement and intelligence services to represent key figures in such cases.
The two-judge bank, headed by Judge Salahuddin Panhwar, also called on federal and state law officials for Oct. 5, asking them to respond on what the state’s liability to missing person’s loved ones could be if it fails to meet the constitutional guarantee implemented its citizens, especially in the cases in which heads of families are missing and their relatives get into financial crisis in order to maintain the minimum standard of living.
The bank also asked the Sindh Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General to also consider whether such families could be granted financial support through Zakat or the Social Welfare Office and Baitul Mal.
It also instructed the lawyers to assist the court in relation to the services of missing persons whose salaries had been blocked by the departments concerned due to their absence and whether their families were entitled to these benefits under the applicable service law.
When the bank accepted a petition seeking the whereabouts of a man missing more than four years ago for a hearing, the investigator said that other authorities besides Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence had refused to arrest the missing person .
The IO tried 15 days to submit a report on such locations and also to try to recover the missing person.
At that point, the petitioner told the bank that her husband, Mohammad Adil, had been missing for four and a half years, adding that they had six children and that they could not cope with their education and welfare without financial support.
The bank found that hundreds of complaints about missing persons had asked for an answer, even though it was the absolute responsibility of the state to protect not only the right to exist or to live, but the right to a meaningful life with a minimal standard of living.
The police are required by law to report missing persons within a reasonable time, but it has always been different, the bank complained in their order, adding that the life of a missing person is not limited to him alone, but also includes his relatives, even if it was about the guarantee under Article 9 (security of the person: no one may be deprived of life or liberty, unless according to the law) of the constitution.
The bank said that under these circumstances it had asked Sindh AG and AG to help it, especially in cases where heads of families were missing and their families were facing financial problems.
“The judicial order requires that this order be communicated to the above-mentioned competent departments. The heads of these departments provide their caregivers to help the suffering families, as they are the people who deserve their bread and butter and have not been found despite the efforts of the authorities, ”said the bank on their behalf.
Posted in Dawn, August 29, 2021