IHC orders investigation into 'missing' person's disappearance

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday ordered a comprehensive investigation into Haseeb Hamza's disappearance, who was forcibly picked up from his residence on August 22, and disposed of the petition for his recovery after the police produced Hamza before the court. 

Missing person Hamza was recovered by the police and produced before the court for the hearing of his case under IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah. 

Advocate General Islamabad Barrister Jahangir Jadoon also appeared before the court.

As the proceedings began, the court inquired where Hamza was, to which he replied that he had been blindfolded at the time of his 'taking' and was unaware of where he was.

Read Govt given two months to find missing persons

The chief justice then asked the police personnel what inquiry the inspector general had done.  According to the police, they were investigating the delay in registering the initial case as well as the disappearance.

Justice Minallah then inquired about the cases of other missing persons the police had. To this, they informed the court that some people were recovered while the recovery of others was still underway.

The IHC CJ remarked that the state had a constitutional responsibility to ensure the protection of citizens, but that "no one is fulfilling their responsibility and accountability is also not being ensured".

He maintained that on August 23, Hamza's father went to the station housing officer (SHO) but the first informant report (FIR) was only filed after the court took notice.

"Has the court ever stopped you from taking action against someone who has committed a crime?" he questioned, adding that the police must act according to the law.

He highlighted that even today people were missing and questioned how the system would work. The advocate general replied that there were "some defects in the system" and that a full investigation will be conducted.

The advocate general further stated that the IG has been instructed to take immediate action if someone went to the police.

CJ Minallah said that the system did not have any defects, rather there was no accountability or responsibility. He maintained that the court "can do nothing except for upholding the constitution and the law".

The AG said that he would hold a meeting but the CJ remarked that the court "does not want to know about meetings".

Justice Minallah questioned who will investigate the matter and that who had "kidnapped" Hamza. To this, the AG said that the victim could identify a person who had been involved in his kidnapping.

"Do not speak to him like that," the judge responded, adding that according to the high court's order, the IG himself is to supervise the investigation regarding Hamza's case and a report must be submitted to the registrar after the investigation.

"This court depends on you and cannot conduct inquiries itself," Justice Minallah told the advocate general and questioned what would happen if those responsible did not do their duties.

The AG responded that they will do their duty but the CJ remarked that "the duty is not being performed". Justice Minallah further said that the police had also violated the recent court order

Read More: CJP remarks elicit alarms, mixed reactions

"Those responsible for the missing of the youth should be determined," Justice Minallah said. He stated that in light of past orders, the authorities should punish those who do not fulfill their responsibilities.

Subsequently, the court disposed of the petition and ordered for a comprehensive investigation to be conducted into Hamza's disappearance. 

On Tuesday, the IHC had given Islamabad Inspector General Akbar Nasir Khan a day to recover the missing person, Haseeb Hamza.

IG Khan had appeared before the court and had informed Justice Minallah that an FIR had been registered in the case.

Justice Minallah had remarked that it was “intolerable” that a citizen had gone missing from the court's jurisdiction. He had maintained that all sector commanders and chief commissioners should facilitate in locating the missing man.

The CJ had warned that action would be taken against all if the missing person was not found, directing the IG along with the chief commissioner to appear before the court at 10 am on Wednesday (today).

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