SHC irked by police failure to trace missing persons – 19 Jan 2023

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday expressed resentment over police for its failure to take steps for recovery of missing persons and directed the investigating officers to use modern devices to locate the victims of enforced disappearances.

The SHC also deplored that the provincial task force (PTF) for missing persons had not been examining the cases on a regular basis despite court order.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto said that it had perused the progress reports filed by the IOs in a set of missing persons cases and found them unsatisfactory.

`It appears that the IOs have failed to take the steps for recovery of missing persons. It is very unfortunate that the cases of the missing persons were discussed before the provincial task force lastly on 28.10.2022.

This court has already directed that the PTF sessions regarding missing person shall be held every month,` it added The bench directed the home secretary to hold PTF sessions every month as the liberty of a person is supreme as guaranteed by the Constitution.

Adjourning the matter till Feb 14, the bench further ordered that the cases of missing persons must also be discussed before the joint investigation teams before the next hearing and sought progress reports.

One of the petitioners informed the bench that she was mother of seven school-going children and facing financial difficulty as her husband had been missing since 2015.

The bench noted that whereabouts of missing person were still not known despite 13 sessions of the JIT and 11 sessions of the PTF. The court summoned the SSP (investigation) concerned along with a progress report on the next date.

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