SC Restrains Courts From Releasing Prisoners Amid Corona Outbreak

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday suspended orders given by Islamabad High Court and others regarding release of hundreds of prisoners amid Corona outbreak.

The 5-judges larger bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar, was hearing petition challenging IHC Order of setting free 408 under trial prisoners.

During the proceedings, the Supreme Court also restrained high courts and provincial governments from issuing release orders of prisoners any more, issuing notices to the federation, all advocates generals, IG Islamabad, administration, all home secretaries, IGs Prison, Prosecutor General NAB, ANF, Advocate General Gilgit Baltistan. The SC appointed Sheikh Zameer Hussain as Amicus Curiae.

In his remarks during today’s proceedings, Chief Justice Gulzar asked not to spread panic, adding “we dont need to be terrified, instead, need to unite and fight common enemy.”

Questioning IHC orders regarding release of hundreds of prisoners, he said “it’s power game but it should not be that authorities should exercise powers beyond their limits. We have to maintain rule of law in the country.”

The Chief Justice said that the issue before the bench was of a serious nature which needed to be resolved on legal basis. He asked as to how could be a prisoner, who was imprisoned two weeks back, could be set free.

Citing examples of foreign countries, he said there were commissions formed to pave way for releasing prisoners, and the way prisoners in Pakistan were granted bail violated basic rules.

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