CJ takes serious notice of inordinate delay in Islamabad Jail Project

Zubair Qureshi

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has taken serious notice of inordinate delay in completion of the Islamabad prison and has directed the offices of the Chief Commissioner, CDA and others to explain why the project was facing delay despite the fact CDA acquired land in Jhangi Sayyedan back in 2014.
The Chief Justice was holding meeting with the officials of the National Judicial Policy Committee Meeting (NJPMC) when the matter of delay in Jail Project was brought before him. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar who is also Chairman Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP)/Governing Body, AJDF/NJPMC critically reviewed the performance of the CDA and ICT administration particularly with reference to Islamabad Jail Project. He also reviewed the working and performance of the departments/sections under the commission.
The NJPMC reviewed the status of construction of Model Jail in Islamabad and showed displeasure on inordinate delay in completion of the Model Jail. The Chief Justice asked the authorities concerned for early completion of project to address the problem of prisoners of ICT who are presently confined in overcrowded Central Prison Rawalpindi. It may be mentioned here that Islamabad Jail project like Islamabad Airport is moving at snail’s pace and reports like acquisition of land, PC-1 of the project have been appearing in media since 2009.
It was in 2014 that a senior official of the CDA had told the IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui that out of the total 720 kanal only 90 kanal has to be acquired by the CDA. And that 90 kanal too was owned by the families whose succession is not clear, and we want this issues resolved before making the payments, he had said.
Interestingly in 2009, the then DAG Shah Khawar had told a three-member SC bench that the government had approved a plan to construct a new prison in Islamabad for which a committee headed by Chief Commissioner ICT (Islamabad Capital Territory) has been formed. The apex court had taken a suo motu asking the government to explain why the Capital of Pakistan is without a prison of its own. The bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Mohammad Sair Ali and Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja had suggested to the government to establish the new prison on state land to avoid higher cost of private holdings.
According to the Chief Commissioner’s office the modern jail will also house a library, an auditorium, punishment/segregation cells, condemned prison cells, gallows, better class ward, women barracks, juvenile barracks, mosque, overhead water reservoir, godown, laundry, factory for convict labour, cinema, separate grounds for football, volleyball, basketball, outdoor toilets, administration block, court room and a conference room.

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