The Sindh High Court has summoned the federal interior secretary in personal capacity in a plea seeking the recovery of missing persons and sought a report from the Sindh Rangers on the matter.
A two-member bench, comprising Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto and Justice Abdul Mubeen Lakho, issued the directives on Thursday, during the hearing of a plea filed by a citizen Muhammad Nawaz, who seeks the recovery of his father, Amin, and son, Ilyas.
Nawaz informed the court that authorities had taken Ilyas and Amin into custody in 2009. "I was released later, but my father and son are still missing," he said.
This led to the court rebuking the Sindh IGP and drew the court's ire over the authorities' failure to recover Amin and Ilyas. "You are a senior official and must look into the matter," the court remarked addressing the IGP.
The IGP maintained that the case of Amin and Ilyas' disappearance pertained to a matter of personal enmity, assuring the court that the issue of missing persons was being addressed at every level.
Following this exchange, the court directed the relevant provincial task force and joint investigation team to hold monthly meetings on missing persons. It also sought a report from the federal government on persons in detention centres and adjourned the hearing.
Toll tax collection
A two-member bench comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Rashida Asad sought replies from the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), Bahria Town and the National Highways Authority on a plea pertaining to the collection of toll tax from persons residing in and visiting Bahria Town despite the issuance of a restraining order.
A construction company, Screw, submitted a reply on the plea, stating that the use of a 16-kilometre-long stretch of road was free for the citizens of Karachi.
The petitioner stated that Bahria Town Karachi was within urban limits and a toll tax of Rs50 was charged from residents while leaving and approaching the locality. The toll plaza should be relocated outside the city, the petitioner said.
The court remarked if the restraining order was not implemented, strict action would be taken and adjourned the hearing till March 18.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2021.
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