Prisoners may be excused from court appearances

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Staff Reporter

The Sindh government has suggested that all the prisoners in Karachi should be excused from being presented before courts in Sindh amid the coronavirus outbreak.
On Friday, the government issued a suggestion that prisoners across the province should not be brought to courts. A decision will, however, be taken after referring to the Sindh High Court, said Barrister Murtaza Wahab.
He added that he has been instructed by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to discuss the matter with the advocate general of the Sindh High Court.
The court, in a circular, has banned all unrelated and unnecessary people from entering its premises. It has even stopped people from shaking hands.
The development came after Pakistan reported 21 cases of the global pandemic. Of these, most of the cases have been reported in Sindh.
Meanwhile, Sindh Inspector General for prisons has written a letter to the government detailing his fears for the lives of those in jail in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
The letter directs immediate action for the safety of inmates who are extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.
The IG Prisons also requested the Sindh government to release prisoners behind bars that have been put away to serve minor offences. The letter says that Sindh High Court should be involved in the matter to ensure fast-paced decisions on the cases deemed petty.

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