Women prisoners still await freedom in NWFP
PESHAWAR, July 13 2006: Hundreds of confused kin of female prisoners waited outside different jails of the province throughout July 12 but not a single woman could be released on bail under the presidential order. Nobody has so far approached the local courts to bail out their relatives languishing in 22 different prisons of NWFP. The number of female prisoners across the province has been reported around 340 of whom majority deserve to be released on bail under the president’s directives.
President General Pervez Musharraf on the recommendations of Ministry of Women Development had ordered immediate release of women prisoners involved in cases other than robbery, murder and terrorism, directing the law ministry to complete all the legal process without any delay. Around 200 females have been released from different jails of Punjab during the past three days. However, the process is yet to be initiated in NWFP where family members of these prisoners were in a fix as to knock at which door to get their relatives released.
A judicial magistrate visited the Central Prison Peshawar on July 12, ordering the release of 61 prisoners involved in petty crimes. However, it is interesting to mention here that those freed on the occasion did not include a single woman. A local court also denied bail to three women, Gohara, Fareeda Bano and Shamim, who had sought their release under the order, saying they are yet to receive the notification in this regard. The counsel for the females said that he went to every government office to get a copy of the notification but failed.
It is learnt that amendment in Section 497 sub section 4 of the CrPC provided the release of females sentenced for less then ten years and not involved in terrorism, murder or robbery on bail from a court of law. Another amendment also provided the release of a female on bail if her case was not decided within six months of trial. As many as 93 female inmates are languishing only in Peshawar prisons of whom more than 80 could be released under the package. Sixty-four of these females are going through trials. Majority of women behind the bars in other 21 districts of the province are those whose cases are yet to be decided.
Source: The News