Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has said in Islam it is instructed to treat the prisoner as a free individual with the exception of being confined to prison.
He said this in his key note address at the inaugural session of one day workshop on Prisoners Vulnerability-Lacking awareness at Federal Judicial Academy here Saturday.
He went on to say this purpose can be achieved by providing them opportunities for trade and business. Similarly, they can render services for teaching. They might be provided with the reading and writing materials, and provided with the access to their families.
He went on to say Islam addresses every sphere of our lives and guides mankind with logical solutions in virtually every system of administration. Thus, Islam presents its own philosophy with regard to the question of imprisonment and the prison system, he added.
He held Islam considers imprisonment as a case of last resort, and in many circumstances imprisonment is not used as a punishment. However, there are number of offences for which imprisonment has been prescribed but the torture and inhuman treatment with the prisoners are completely against the injunctions of our religion.
And it also cannot be denied on the basis of principles of morality, envisaged in Islam, to treat everyone with fairness.
He observed right to human dignity is inviolable irrespective of the type of crime one commits and one should not be tortured or treated cruelly or inhumanely under any circumstances.
He said the old and dilapidated structure of prisons does not fulfill the objectives of prisons. Therefore, I believe it is need of the time to take urgent remedial steps in prisons reforms, he stressed.
He underlined the Supreme Court is fully geared to enforce fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution which entail rights of the prisoners.
He said prisoners are the vulnerable segment of the society for the reason that they are being deprived of their rights provided under the laws.
He noted prisoners being the members of our society deserve better facilities. They are in jails for the wrongs committed by them, but it does not imply that they should be deprived of their fundamental rights, he added. So all organs of State need to join hands with the Judiciary for rehabilitation and welfare of the prisoners considering them part of the society, he stressed.