SC suspends all high court orders regarding release of prisoners
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday suspended orders issued by the high courts relating to the release of under-trial prisoners amidst the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
In its order, the top court said: “No further order shall be passed by any of the high courts and by any of the provincial governments/ICT/Gilgit-Baltistan of releasing the prisoners from the jails.”
It added if any order has been passed regarding the release of the prisoners and not given effect or implemented till now, the same shall not be acted upon until further orders by the Supreme Court.
The apex court further suspended the implementation of the Islamabad High Court’s orders regarding the release of under-trial prisoners.
During Monday’s hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed questioned the powers of the IHC in issuing orders to release prisoners to pre-empt the spread of the virus in prisons.
“How can high courts take suo motu notice,” CJP Gulzar remarked while reviewing a decision taken by the IHC on March 26 ordering the release of 24 under-trial suspects named in NAB references.
The accountability bureau had contested the decision, with an additional prosecutor of the bureau asking the court to arrange for coronavirus testing of the suspects on an immediate basis.