IHC seeks report on Covid-19 SOPs implementation in police, judicial lockups

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Karachi Company sealed; G-6 & 7, I-8 & 10 under strict monitoring
Zubair Qureshi

The district administration of Islamabad with the help of police and paramilitary forces (Pakistan Rangers) Friday night sealed the main market in the Sector G-9/4 Karachi Company and two sub-sectors G-9/2 and G-9/3.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad Muhammad Hamza Shafqaat some 200 cases of coronavirus have been detected in these particular areas.
We shall keep these areas sealed for next three days, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and will monitor the situation closely, said Hamza Shafqaat adding there are other hot spots where the number of coronavirus cases is steadily growing. They are I-8 (163 cases), I-10 (113 cases), Ghauri Town (98 cases), Bhara Kahu (98 cases), G-7 (98 cases) and G-6 (93 cases).
We are maintaining a strict vigilance and if need be we shall seal these hot spots also.
Islamabad on Friday reported 6,299 confirmed cases of coronavirus registering an increase of 436 cases in past twenty-four hours. With three deaths in one day, the total number reached 65 in Islamabad.
Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court on Friday sought reply from police and district administration regarding implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) on Covid-19 in judicial and police lockups.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah gave these orders while hearing a petition regarding the plight of the arrested persons and the risks they are facing due to the deplorable conditions of the “Bakhshi Khana” (judicial lockups) and the lock-ups established in the police stations of the Islamabad Capital Territory.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed District Administration, police as well as subordinate judiciary to implement coronavirus Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) at all the judicial and police lockups and ensure the accused in temporary lockups are not paraded unnecessarily while handcuffed or in shackle. While adjourning the hearing until June 19, the court observed, “It has been observed that the arrested prisoners are paraded without SOPs prescribed to meet the challenges of the Covid
-19.”
The court also nominated members from police, district administration, subordinate judiciary, bar council, and journalists association of the IHC reporters to jointly inspect the Bakhshi Khana and temporary lock-ups to assess the conditions having regard to fundamental rights granted under the constitution of Pakistan.
A pre-trial or under-trial prisoner is presumed to be innocent until his/her guilt is proven before a competent court. Even a convicted person cannot be treated in a degraded manner, the judge observed in his verdi-
ct.

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