KARACHI - The Supreme Court on Friday ordered Karachi police to immediately arrest over 33,000 criminals absconding in the City and to start a campaign for recovery of illegal arms.
After two days of hearing of the Karachi law and order implementation case here, a five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justices Jawwad S. Khawaja, Khilji Arif Hussain, Amir Hani Muslim and Azmat Saeed ordered immediate arrest of criminals wanted in various crimes including terrorism.
In its interim order, the bench also ordered authorities to start a campaign for recovery of illegal arms in the City.
The court also ordered police to present details about arrests made so far in the on-going targeted action in Karachi.
Moreover, the court also sought details about slain police officers who were involved in the 1992 and 1996 Karachi action.
The court orders came after Prosecutor General Shahadat Awan informed the court that over 33,000 absconders have been at large in Karachi, and nearly 1,500 of them were wanted in terrorism cases. During the proceedings, the Chief Justice remarked that crime rate could have come down had the police shown a little sincerity.
“All this would not have taken place had the government purged police of politics,” he observed. On Thursday, the Chief Secretary Sindh, Advocate General Sindh, IG Sindh police, Rangers chief and other officials submitted their reports to the apex court. During proceedings, Prosecutor General Sindh presented a report on Karachi situation before the bench.
According to the statistics presented in the report, there are over 110,000 absconders in Sindh out of which 33,665 are in Karachi.
Moreover, there are pending cases of 1,486 absconders in the anti-terrorism court.Justice Khilji remarked how citizens can remain safe in a City when there are 33,000 absconders present.
On the occasion, the CJ inquired about the absconders who took advantage of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).
The Prosecutor General Sindh told the bench that there are total 12,734 accused who availed the NRO. The CJ then asked about the accused who were freed during 2008-2013 as their cases were disposed of as A-class. Replying to this, the Prosecutor General told that there were total 17,961 cases that were disposed of as A-class.
Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry then remarked that in the presence of so many absconders in his area, no SHO could remain eligible. He said that it is only the absconders who are spoiling peace in the City. Justice Jawwad remarked that releasing the accused involved in serious crimes on parole is equivalent to give them the license to commit more crimes. He said that crime rate in Karachi is 66 per cent as compared to the crime rate in other cities which is 34 per cent.
The apex court has also sealed the Rangers report pertaining to extortionists and target killers in Karachi.
The Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry appreciated the performance of the law enforcement agencies during the last 15 days, and instructed to continue targeted action in Karachi.
The CJ said that he had read the report regarding the murder of Wali Khan Babar and it seemed as if the entire team was involved. The CJ further said that cases should be heard on daily basis and disposed of as soon as possible.
The SC also directed that a campaign be initiated in a day or two to recover the illegal arms in the port city. The court said that legislation should be done to issue licences and said that a Sessions Judge can be appointed in the absence of District Magistrate.