SHC seeks complete details of convicts, nature of offense from IGP

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh to provide details of convicts and nature of the offense and punishment on a plea pertaining to the issue of keeping overcrowded prisoners in jails.

A two-member bench of the SHC, headed by Justice KK Agha, heard a petition filed by Jibran Nasir against keeping overcrowded prisoners in jails of Sindh. The court sought a complete list of under-trial prisoners in Central and Malir jails. “When and how long under trial prisoners have been lodged in jails, full details should be provided,” the court ordered the IGP.

The court also sought a report from the Sindh government and the federal government in this regard. “How much pardon can be given to under-trial prisoners,” the court said. The court ordered the respondents to submit complete reports within six weeks.

The court said details of two jails are currently being sought while records of other jails will be sought later.

The public prosecutor sought more time to submit reports. “IG Sindh should have a complete record of prisoners,” Justice KK Agha remarked.

Advocate Faisal Siddiqui argued 78% prisoners in jails are under trial while most of the accused are poor, not even have lawyers. “Offenders who have served 58% of their sentence in prison should be released on bail,” the lawyer said.

The petitioner stated that prisoners in multiple under-trial cases instituted before 2010 have already served half the sentences even without conclusion of their trial. He said that the province’s prisons house more inmates than they are allowed to keep as per their sanctioned capacity. - PPI