On Monday Supreme Court suspended orders issued by the high court’s relating to the release of under-trial prisoners as a precautionary measure to curb the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
A five-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, was hearing an appeal challenging the exercise of suo motu powers by the Islamabad High Court regarding granting bail to under-trial prisoners.
Apex court orders that “No further order shall be passed by any of the high courts and by any of the provincial governments/ICT/Gilgit-Baltistan of releasing the prisoners from the jails.”
During the hearing, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Judge Gulzar Ahmed, questioned the powers of the IHC to issue prisoner release orders to prevent the spread of the virus in prisons.
It added if any order has been passed regarding the release of the prisoners and not given effect or implemented till now, the same shall not be acted upon until further orders by the Supreme Court.
The apex court further suspended the implementation of the Islamabad High Court’s orders regarding the release of under-trial prisoners.
The accountability bureau had contested the decision, with an additional prosecutor of the bureau asking the court to arrange for coronavirus testing of the suspects on an immediate basis.
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