SC seeks report on Karachi law, order in two weeks

Karachi: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday noted that general elections are scheduled in the coming months, therefore its duty of caretaker government, police and rangers to do utmost to ensure that life and property of citizens is safe and protected.

It directed Sindh chief secretary, IG Sindh and director general of Rangers to ensure that life and property of the people are protected, and submit a joint statement showing progress in maintaining law and order situation in Karachi within two weeks.

A larger bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry continued the hearing of Karachi law and order implementation case on Friday at its registry in Karachi. Other members of bench comprised Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Khilji Arif Hussain, Amir Hani Muslim and Ejaz Afzal Khan.

The court expressed displeasure over Rangers, police and provincial government for not submitting joint report regarding the presence of the ‘nogo areas’ in the city. The larger bench becomes visibly irked at knowing that DG Rangers was absent and asked from his counsel about progress so far made by the Rangers for restoration of peace in Karachi.

CJP said that Rangers are equally responsible for the worrisome situation of the city, adding since the rangers do not show serious attitude, they will fail to acquire the purpose for which they have been deployed in Karachi.

CJP expressed annoyance over rangers as saying that even two rangers personnel were murdered and badly tortured but suspects involved in their murder have yet to be arrested.

Justice Khawaja said that nogo areas are such areas where there is not writ of the government. In such areas citizens do not feel secure, another Judge added.

The CJP remarked that clearing nogo areas do not mean that criminals, land grabbers, extortionists and other outlaws were allowed to rule such areas.

Acting chief secretary said that there may be more than one nogo areas in Karachi where government writ is challenged and law enforces are toothless and outlaws exercising their powers.

SSP Niaz Khoso told the court that half of the city has become nogo area, adding that he said that when complaints regarding ransom are received from Lyari and similar other crimeinfested areas we batter suggest the complainants to pay the ransom.

The court said that contradictory statement about the presence of the nogo areas have been put forth by the rangers and police. The court again directed, acting chief secretary, provincial police chief and DG rangers to hold meeting and file a joint statement.

Chief Secretary submitted a fresh joint statement stating that it has been concluded that in the various areas of the city the writ of State is being challenged. He said that IG Sindh and DG rangers will make joint efforts to ensure security and peace in such areas. He requested the court for granting time to complete such task.

Whereas the court expressed dissatisfaction over the statement, saying that joint statement submitted is not sufficient to redress grievances of general public and it would not solve the problem of the citizens.

The court said that it had made observations regarding presence of the nogo areas in Karachi and directed law enforcing agencies to clear all such areas, but unfortunately situation further deteriorated.

Acting IG Sindh submitted his report showing that police arrested 224 accused in the year 2012, mostly belonging to outlawed organizations and political parties.

The report revealed that out of these 224 culprits arrested by the police, 27 had affiliations with TTP, 81 belonged to MQM, 38 to Sunni Tehreek, 17 were from Lyari gangs, 2 from LeJ, 13 from ANP, 4 from outlawed SiphaeMuhammad and 4 from Mohajir Qaumi Movement besides other related to other political parties including the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP).

The court said that it had made observation regarding criminals, associating themselves with the political parties.

The court also took up the matter of the 14 retired officers appointed on contract basis in the police department. It observed that as retired people are reemployed on the contract basis in police department against sanctioned force, the promotions of the junior officers are blocked till such officer continue their contract period.

The court observed that in accordance with law promotions of the employee should not be blocked to accommodate the retired officers. It said that surprisingly the services department itself has not supported such employments.

Advocate general of Sindh asked court to grant time to enable the caretaker CM to approve summary for removing such persons from the postings and allowing junior officers to occupy the posts. The court said that appointments of such persons are not in accordance with law. It therefore directed the AG to seek instructions of the caretaker CM regarding this matter during the course of day.

After the recess, the AG informed the court that notification has been issued by the provincial government and contracts of all such officers cancelled.