Transparent polls not possible in Karachi: SC
07 February, 2013
KARACHI: Referring to Karachi, the Supreme Court remarked how could elections take place in a transparent manner in a city where the citizens are terror-stricken.
The court made the observation during the hearing of Karachi law and order case by a four-member larger bench at the Karachi Registry on Wednesday. The bench comprises Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Amir Hani Muslim. Expressing annoyance over lawlessness in the city, the bench told the authorities concerned that if the citizens there are terror-stricken and their lives are not secure then the court should be told who is responsible for this and who should be held accountable.
The court remarked that the government of Sindh should take out advertisements telling the citizens that they should come out of their homes at their own risk, and the government is not responsible in this regard. Sindh Prosecutor General Shahadat Awan told the court that the city had 22,535 proclaimed offenders and absconders. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja noted that if more than 22,000 proclaimed offenders and absconding accused are roaming freely in the city, why has no action been taken to arrest them.
He said the Supreme Court wants Article 9 of the constitution implemented, and noted that if the life and property of the citizens of Karachi is not safe then the government is responsible. Justice Khawaja remarked that if it is not possible for the police to apprehend the proclaimed offenders and absconders then there is no harm in admitting that the government has not provided funds because of which police are unable to curb crimes.
Interior Secretary Wasim Ahmad told the court that proposals have been sent to the government to introduce amendment in the Arms Act. The court expressed surprise on sending of a summary of the proposed arms ordinance by the interior secretary to the federal government and remarked that this process runs contrary to the spirit of provincial autonomy.
Justice Amir Hani Muslim inquired from the Sindh IG Fayyaz Leghari how many cases of target killings have been converted into A Class and how a case of murder is made A Class within a week. "You officers convert murder case into A Class while sitting at home," he observed. Leghari told the court that over 3000 proclaimed offenders and 20,000 absconding accused have been arrested in Karachi. Justice Amir Hani Muslim inquired from the Sindh IG how many investigation officers were working in the city, but the officer could not give a reply on it.