Human rights issues in Fata Superior courts to intervene in case of violations: PHC CJ
PESHAWAR: Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court (PHC) Dost Muhammad Khan ruled on Tuesday the superior courts could exercise jurisdiction in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) whenever human rights of citizens guaranteed by the Constitution were violated.
The chief justice ruled this during a writ petition of a tribesman who appealed against conviction by Assistant Political Agent (APA) Bara of Khyber Agency in a kidnapping case.
The chief justice observed that human rights of tribal people were being violated in the Fata and the superior courts could not remain a silent spectator as under the Constitution superior courts could take notice of the violations of human rights in Fata. “We cannot leave the tribal people at the mercy of political authorities. We will intervene whenever human rights of the tribal people are violated,” the chief justice observed.
However, Iqbal Durrani, representing the political authorities in the case, submitted that under the Constitution, the superior courts had no jurisdiction in the Fata. At this stage, the chief justice said the political authorities were using only a few provisions of Constitution to their own interest. Constitution of Pakistan, he said, covered the whole country including Fata and it guaranteed fundamental human rights to all citizens of Pakistan.
Heading a division bench, the chief justice ordered authorities of Central Prison Haripur to release detenue Sahibzada, a resident of Bara as he had spent his jail term.Samiullah Afridi, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that APA Bara had convicted his client on May 19, 2003 in kidnapping case for 14 years sentence.
He submitted that under the law, the APA could only sentence an accused up to seven years. In this case the APA did not take permission and sentenced the petitioner up to 14 years.