SC demands comprehensive report on protection of minorities' rights -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

SC demands comprehensive report on protection of minorities’ rights

Pakistan Press Foundation

By:

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed dissatisfaction over the report submitted by the federation and provinces regarding steps taken for the protection of minorities and termed it just a piece of paper.

The court directed the federal government to consider appointment of permanent Chairman for National Commission for Minorities ruling that the chairman should be one who holds high office in the government.

The court also directed the government to ensure early arrest of the two Maulvis who had incited the people to assemble on the spot at the incident of Kot Radha Kishen tragedy where the Christian couple was allegedly beaten to death by a mob and their bodies were burnt in a brick kiln on allegations of blasphemy. The court also directed to lodge criminal cases against the police personnel who were present at the time of incident but avoided to take action.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Nasir ul Mulk heard implementation of its order given for the rights of minorities as well as suo moto case of Kot Radha Kishen incident.

The court directed all the chief secretaries, inspector general of police (IGPs) and chairman National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to appear before the court on January 13.The court directed all the provinces to file report on five percent job quota to minorities not only showing the same in advertisements bust also in implementation at the time of appointments.

During the course of the proceedings, the federation and four provinces submitted before the court report on the implementation order of the court regarding measures taken for the protection of minorities. The court termed the report just a piece of paper and ordered for filing a comprehensive report on the next date of hearing.

Deputy attorney general informed the court that a National Commission for Minorities has been set up however, a permanent chairman was not yet appointed for the said commission.The court then, directed the government to consider appointment of permanent chairman for the Commission ruling that the chairman should be one who holds office in government and could ensure submission of progress report to the apex court regarding implementation of its order, passed in the instant matter.

During the course of the proceedings, representative of the minorities Dr. Ramesh Kumar submitted that unless and until the Commission is supervised by the prime minister, it would not be able to implement the orders passed by the apex court.

The court however, observed that it would not give any direction for appointment of a particular person for the slot of chairman National Commission for Minorities.

Ramesh Kumar further informed the court that there certain modification was needed in the marriage certificates of minorities for which they had recommended some changes in the marriage certificates however, he contended that Nadra has not yet taken into consideration despite their repeated request.

For example, he said that they recommended to Nadra to change Maulvi with Pundit, Nikha with Shaadi in the marriage certificate of minorities besides, he said that there was no concept of divorce in the Hindu community.

Meanwhile, the court directed all the chief secretaries, IGPs and chairman Nadra to submit a comprehensive report regarding safeguarding the rights of the minorities in the light of the implementation of its order and directed them to ensure their presence before the court on January 13 and adjourned further hearing.

Similarly, the said bench while taking up the suo moto case of killing of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishen on November 4, directed the government to arrest two persons who incited the angry mob to gather on the spot at the time of incident besides lodging criminal cases against the police personnel who were present at the time of incident.

The court had taken notice of the Kot Radha Kishen incident in which a Christian couple was allegedly beaten to death by a mob and their bodies were burnt in a brick kiln on allegations of blasphemy.

On Tuesday the court was informed that as per First Investigation Report (FIR), five police personnel were present at the time of the incident. According to the police they did not react due to fear of adverse reaction. The Court however rejected the plea.

According to SP Investigation, the police, present on the occasion, had weapons but they did not fire in the air. The court observed that the police personnel, present on the occasion could easily have saved the couple.

The court directed DPO Kasur to appear before it in person on the next date of hearing besides directing SP Investigation to file a comprehensive report on January 15 and adjourned the hearing.

During the course of hearing the court was informed that there were three persons- Noor Hussain, Arshad Baloch and Muhammad Hussain, who had incited people to gather on the spot.

The court was further informed that Muhammad Hussain has been arrested while the others two are absconders. The court was further informed that 138 persons had been nominated in the instant case of which 59 had been arrested while the rest were absconders.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing till January 15 with the direction to lodge criminal case against the police personnel who failed to fulfil their professional obligation at the time of incident. The court also ordered that the two persons who instigated the public to assemble at the time of incident should also be arrested.

The News