KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Tuesday expressed displeasure over the progress of investigation and prosecution of cases in courts, particularly those in anti-terrorism courts in Sindh, and constituted a four-member committee to monitor the performance of all court cases.
In a meeting at the CM House on Tuesday, attended by senior government officials, the chief secretary told Qaim that in the month of June, 2015, all 19 anti-terrorism courts disposed off 101 cases – of them, accused in 77 cases were acquitted while those in 24 cases were convicted.
“This shows a 23.7 per cent conviction ratio,” said Memon.
The meeting was attended by provincial chief secretary Siddique Memon, chief minister’s adviser on Law Murtaza Wahab, principal secretary to CM Alamuddin Bullo, Secretary Home Mukhtiar Soomro, prosecutor general Sindh, secretary law and others.
The CM was further told that in all 27 district courts in Sindh, 2,075 cases were disposed off in June – acquittal was granted in 1,472 cases and conviction in 603 cases, which translates into a conviction ratio of 29.6 per cent.
The chief secretary said there were 1,618 cases pending in four anti-corruption courts, which disposed off eight cases in June, 2015, granting acquittal in seven cases and conviction in one case. The conviction rate in anti-corruption cases comes out to 12.5 per cent.
Following the briefing, the chief minister expressed displeasure over the pace and strength of prosecution and investigation.
“This practice cannot be tolerated. The culprits are arrested after a lot of hard work and sacrifices of police, Rangers and other agencies, but poor investigation and prosecution washes away the entire exercise,” he said.
Shah directed the the Inspector General of Sindh police to task the most senior and seasoned policemen with investigations.
“This is a serious business, and it cannot be left at the mercy of inefficient and unwilling workers. From now on action would be taken against the concerned SHOs and investigation officers if a terrorism case is lost in the court of law,” Qaim said.
Sindh Police IG Ghulam Hyder Jamali said he had posted his 23 most experienced inspectors to the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) to investigate terrorism cases. “This move is bound to produce good results,” he said.
The chief minister directed the prosecutor general to appoint more prosecutors purely on merit.
“I would give them additional allowances and also grant them additional salary as a reward when they win a case,” Qaim said.
The CM then ordered the constitution of a four-member committee comprising Home Secretary Mukhtiar Soomro, Prosecutor General Sher Mohammad Shaikh, the secretary law and a DIG to be nominated by IG police. The committee will hold monthly meetings to monitor the performance of prosecution and investigation.
The chief minister’s adviser on the occasion said most of the prosecutors were inefficient. “Their performance in the courts is very poor,” he said.
To this the CM ordered evaluation of every prosecutor’s performance on a monthly basis, adding that action must be taken against those who fail to perform.
On the suggestion of the home secretary, the chief minister ordered regular meetings between the SSP Investigation and the prosecutor general to address issues related to investigation and prosecution.
The chief minister also expressed his displeasure on the release of the accused allegedly involved in the murder of Karachi University professor Dr Waheedur Rehman. “This was also a weakness of the investigation and prosecution team,” he said.
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