SC orders early recovery of Awais Shah KARACHI: Directing the government to ensure early recovery of the kidnapped son of the Sindh High Court chief justice, the Supreme Court issued on Friday notices to the interior secretary, heads of intelligence agencies and others on a petition filed against the abduction.
A five-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Amir Hani Muslim issued the directive during the hearing of the petition filed by the Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) seeking safe recovery of Barrister Awais Ali Shah, who was kidnapped from Clifton on June 20.
The bench directed the federal government to ensure early recovery of Barrister Shah with the help of all federal and provincial agencies and submit reports through law officers.
Court deplores campaign on social and electronic media against the superior judiciary before and after the kidnapping
The notices issued to the interior secretary, directors general of the Inter-Services Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency and other respondents required them to file their replies by July 21. The bench also directed the attorney general and the interior secretary to ensure their presence at the next hearing.
The counsel for the petitioner regretted that despite the passage of 25 days, the kidnapped son of SHC Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah could not be recovered, adding that it had shattered the confidence of lawyers and the public at large.
The apex court regretted that a few days before the kidnapping of Barrister Shah, a vilification campaign through social and electronic media had been launched against judges of the superior judiciary, but so far no action had been taken by the authorities concerned. Similarly, it said, a campaign of character assassination of superior court judges continued after the abduction, but the authorities remained unmoved.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority should take action against such campaigns maligning the judiciary, the court observed and directed the chairmen of PTA and Pemra to come up with their explanation at the next hearing.
In its petition, the SHCBA requested the apex court to direct the respondents to take all requisite measures to recover the kidnapped lawyer and apprehend the culprits. The respondents should also be directed to coordinate their efforts with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies, submit regular progress reports and implement a plan to improve security of the court complex as well as judges, lawyers and their families.
The provincial police chief informed the apex court that an inquiry, conducted by a DIG against officials of the Clifton police station as well as Madadgar 15 after the kidnapping of Barrister Shah, had found many officials guilty.
The IG said he had asked the Services and General Administration Department to take departmental action against the police officials in BS17 or above. The action against the officials below the rank of BS17 had been ordered by the city police chief, he said.
Masked men took away Barrister Shah from outside a superstore in Clifton, but police and other law enforcement agencies remained unaware of the kidnapping until his family reported it hours later.