Pakistan

Supreme Court Calls for Immediate Prisoner Releases on Probation

In a landmark move, the Supreme Court (SC) has mandated both federal and provincial governments to promptly enforce laws regarding the release of eligible prisoners on probation. This decision, authored by Justice Athar Minallah, comes in the wake of distressing human rights violations within prisons, primarily due to severe overcrowding.

The court's judgment candidly stated that a significant portion of the prison population, affected by inadequate facilities, comes from underprivileged backgrounds. Furthermore, the court remarked on the state's apparent inaction in affording these inmates swift and affordable justice.

Highlighting the criticality of the situation, the SC order read, "The significance of allowing inmates the advantage of probationary release cannot be understated, especially given the unwarranted curtailment of their liberty. The application of probation laws is hence, crucial."

Justice Minallah commented on the executive authorities' disregard for their lawful responsibilities, especially concerning prison inmates. He stressed, "Such neglect is tantamount to breaching the care owed to incarcerated individuals."

The order further elucidated that due to the negligence in addressing overcrowded prisons, the state, along with related authorities, could face legal action from the inmates seeking damages. Such deplorable prison conditions, the bench articulated, are incompatible with a constitutionally governed society. The state's duty, it emphasized, is to uphold every prisoner's fundamental rights, acknowledging that the only right prisoners forgo is their freedom of movement.

In a related stride towards improving the justice system, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Justice Qazi Faez Isa, is set to chair a pivotal meeting tomorrow at 3 pm. This assembly, sources suggest, will delve into refining the administration of justice. To ensure a holistic discussion, invitations have been extended to members of the Pakistan Bar and Supreme Court Bar associations. The meeting is poised to explore various judicial facets, including bench formations, case scheduling, and the swift handling of pressing cases.

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