ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has declared that the death of four detainees during custody could not be proved as death to them caused by torture thus their death should be considered as natural.
This was stated in a detailed judgment released by the apex court on December 10 in Adyala Jail detainees case.
About the deaths, the judgment stated, “Regarding the death of the 4 detainees, the respondents No.2 to 4 with their reply (CMA No.487 of 2012) have attached their death certificates which show that Syed Abdus Saboor expired on 20.01.2011 in LRH due to cardio pulmonary arrest, respiratory distress. Tehseenullah expired on 17.12.2011 in LRH due to cardio pulmonary arrest. Said Arab expired on 18.12.2011 in LRH due to cardio pulmonary arrest, secondary to anemia and pancyctopaeshia. Muhammad Aamir alias Khalid expired on 13.08.2011 due to acute renal failure and acute gastroenteritis.”
About the jurisdiction, the apex court stated that it has no jurisdiction to exercise its power under Article 247(7) of the Constitution of Pakistan in Lower Orakzai Agency.
“So far as the application of the jurisdiction of this Court in terms of Article 247(7) of the Constitution is concerned, it may be noted that as per the consensus of the Judgments of this Court, the bar of jurisdiction of this Court in terms of Article 247(7) of the Constitution will be applicable where cause of action and subject matter of dispute is in the Tribal Area and the parties to the dispute are also resident of Tribal Area,” the judgment stated.
“In this case the detainees have been tried by the Assistant Political Agent, Lower Orakzai Agency and they have been convicted and awarded sentences for the crime they are said to have committed in the Tribal Area and were arrested too from the Tribal Area,” said in the judgment.
With the said comments, it is evident that the military had right stance which was also endorsed by the apex court in the judgment.
The apex court maintained that though the Court had no jurisdiction in Lower Orakzai Agency, “However, as the convicts are detained in the Central Prison, Kohat, which admittedly is a settled area, this Court can surely pass order and give direction to the Jail Administration of Kohat to deal with the said convicts as per the applicable law to the Prisoners and to provide them safe and proper lodging in the jail and in case the said Prisoners require medical treatment which is not possible in the Jail Hospital or in the Jail premises, they shall be brought to proper Hospitals preferably the Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar, where they were already under treatment and the administration of Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar, will ensure that these Prisoners are given proper care and treatment of ailments suffered by them and all efforts are made to secure their health and life which is their guaranteed right under the Constitution of this country.”
Thus the apex court disposed of the petition alongwith connecting petitions.