SC bars high court’s decision for prisoners release due to covid-19
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has overturned the decision of high court for under trial prisoners release amid the outbreak of corona virus in Pakistan. The decision was given by full larger bench headed by justice Gulzar Ahmed.
Previously, the Sindh High Court gave decision to release 569 under trial prisoners so that the spread of COVID-19 be contained.
However, On Friday 21st Chief Justice Athar Minallah conducted a hearing pertaining to the release of the prisoners from Adiala jail. The IHC directed the Deputy Commissioner to appoint an officer to deal with the surety bonds of the detainees and ordered the police to refrain from unnecessary arrests of general public . Proper screening of the prisoners shall be conducted by the nominated officials of ministry of National health services before releasing them.
Justice Athar stated that the WHO has declared Health emergency in the wake of corona virus and that this step has taken in accordance with Government of Pakistan National Action plan regarding social distancing . Deputy Commisionor assured the court that there is no case of corona virus in prisoners right now but IHC fears that the jail could become the epicenter of this deadly virus as the prisons of Pakistan are in dire straits. There is no proper hygiene , health care and food for the prisoners, most of the them are of old age and already have health issues. “The jails of the country are already overfilled. God forbid, what will happen if corona virus spread among the prisoners?” He said.
Right now there are 700 active cases in Pakistan and struggling to control this outbreak and the courts of Pakistan are curbing this situation by protecting the prisoners of this country as it’s the duty of the justice to protect the vulnerable.