IHC chief justice decides to permit live streaming of judicial proceedings

ISLAMABAD  –   In a historical development, the Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC) has decided to permit live streaming of judicial proceedings.

Following the decision, the IT department of the IHC Friday installed the instruments for live streaming services in the court of IHC CJ Justice Athar Minallah.

As a result, the court’s proceedings will be carried out from now on a live stream on a limited scale as a trial to see what response comes from this order. It is stated that if the trial turns successful, then everyone having access to the IHC’s website can live stream the proceedings.

Meanwhile, Justice Athar also sought suggestions from the court reporters and directed the journalists covering IHC to assist in making the experience better and fruitful.

 IHC summons secretary interior in missing person case

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday summoned Secretary Ministry of Interior to appear before it on the next hearing in a missing person case.  A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah issued the directions while hearing the petition seeking the recovery of a journalist Mudassir Naaru and other missing persons.

The IHC bench also directed the interior secretary to take up the issue of missing persons with the newly sworn-in federal cabinet.

During the hearing, the latest report of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances was submitted to the court. After receiving the report, the IHC bench sought suggestions from judicial assistants and other parties in this matter.

 Justice Athar remarked that the federal government was being given an opportunity to formulate a policy, and ordered the interior secretary to take instructions from the federal government on enforced disappearances.  Colonel (retd) Inamur Rahiem, an advocate for the recovery of missing persons, informed the court that according to the commission’s report, it was stated that 76 people went missing during the month of March and that the act of enforced disappearance was still continued.

At this, the court said that the Secretary Interior should submit a report on individuals reportedly missing in March to the cabinet.  Naro’s mother informed the court that his family had a certified report about the report and the same was given to the Prime Minister and the commission. After hearing it from the mother, the court directed the interior secretary to contact them and submit a report on his recovery to the IHC.

Deputy Attorney General Syed Tayyab Shah requested the court to grant three weeks to submit the reply. The IHC Chief Justice also said that the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances must satisfy the families of the missing persons.

He added that the families of missing persons have complaints against the commission and said to registrar of the commission that it is their responsibility to resolve their issues.

Later, the bench deferred the hearing in this matter till May 17 for further proceedings.

Earlier, Justice Athar noted in his order in this regard that the phenomenon of ‘enforced disappearances’ has not been alien in Pakistan. “It cannot be denied that deprivation of liberty of citizens by agents of the State or by persons or groups acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State has been acknowledged by public functionaries in several cases in the past. The phenomenon of ‘enforced disappearances’ definitely constitutes a grave crime against humanity,” added the IHC CJ.

He continued that the positive constitutional obligation of a State to protect fundamental rights and to investigate and punish a perpetrator in accordance with law is grossly breached when the State and its functionaries assume the role of abductors.

He maintained that the track record of the State and its functionaries regarding enforced disappearances has not been flattering nor encouraging.

It is on account of such a track record that the State and its functionaries have to discharge an onerous burden to satisfy the loved ones, particularly the dependents of the victim that it is not a case of ‘enforced disappearance.’

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