Islamabad: 7 men held in Fata to be tried under RAACP, SC told
ISLAMABAD: The counsel for Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that the internment order is being withdrawn and now the seven men detained in FATA would be tried under the Regulations Action in Aid of Civil Powers 2011. Raja Irshad, appearing on behalf of ISI and MI, said: “Soon their fate will be decided on the basis of the evidence they have.” The learned counsel submitted a report before the three-member bench and claimed confidentiality.
He said that as the men allegedly went missing from Adiala Jail in 2010 would be tried under the relevant laws as they were arrested from the restive area of FATA for attacking the army convoys, adding the detained men were not innocent and had been involved in different acts of terrorism.
Raja Irshad said the governor had decided to withdraw the internment orders detaining the seven men Dr Niaz Ahmed and others at Parachinar as they would be tried under the Regulation laws.
“These men were acquitted by the anti–terrorism court Rawalpindi in 2009 owing to the poor prosecution of police as they were accused of being involved in different terrorism case,” said Raja Irshad. He said that the ISI and MI do not enmity with anyone, as they were working for the supreme interest of the country.
The bench questioned how the prisoners could be kept in internment centers without giving concrete reasons. “You may try to get them penalized for the evidence you have against them for being involved in acts of terrorism but you cannot do so violating the due process of law,” Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said while heading a three–member bench that heard Rohaifa Bibi’s petition regarding imprisonment of Adiala Jail prisoners at internment centers in Parachinar.
The bench also comprising of Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed observed that Secretary FATA Jamal Nasir the interning authority had not conveyed to the court that the internment orders were being withdrawn and the detained men would be tried under tribal laws.
Before deferring the hearing till March 20 the bench heard at length the arguments of advocate Tariq Asad representing the detained men on the issue whether or not the apex court could assert its territorial jurisdiction in tribal areas or not.
Citing different court orders from past the lawyer tried to convince the bench that if the fundamental rights such as life and liberty were involved the SC could assume its jurisdiction.
He further contended the 11 men were allegedly picked up from Adiala Jail by in Rawalpindi agencies before they were released and then taken to the FATA. The four of the 11 had already died as they remained in the custody of the agencies for 20 months without any trial.
Separately the bench took up an identical petition challenging the legality of the 2011 regulatory laws for FATA. The petition was moved by Professor Ibrahim a former senator of Jamat-e-Islami in 2011.
“Do you think there is total peace in the country and particularly in KPK. There are no miscreants in FATA that needed to be controlled by armed forces“, remarked Justice Chaudhry after reading a paragraph from the petition containing uncalled for remarks about Pakistan Army’s action in restive areas.
The petitioner being a legislator should have raised his voice in Senate against the regulatory laws for FATA if he had any reservations, the chief justice remarked.
If the law was revoked according to your petition the miscreants will be allowed to kill the civilians and area residents freely, observed Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed responding to the arguments of advocate Ghulam Nabbi appearing for the petitioner.
The petitioner has contended that the federal government had no authority to legislate for FATA if the areas were not covered by the constitution of the country.
Towards the end of the hearings advocate Tariq Asad asked the CJP to form a larger bench to decide the petition against 2011 regulations for FATA. His request was turned down by the chief justice saying the three-member bench should be considered as a larger bench.