ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Monday, questioning the role of intelligence agencies, directed the Attorney General for Pakistan to warn them (agencies) not to detain people illegally.

The court said that under Article 9 of the Constitution 1973 it is a fundamental right of every citizen of Pakistan that he/she shall not be deprived of life and liberty, save in accordance with law. The State of Pakistan, being guardian of its citizens, is bound to implement the constitutional provisions in letter and spirit, particularly fundamental rights, which are guaranteed by the Constitution. “It is also an inalienable right of all the citizens that they should be dealt with in accordance with law following the mandate of due process of law, as enshrined in Article 10A of the Constitution.”

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, took a case regarding the abduction of a 16-year-old boy, who was supplying food to the heirs’ missing persons, who have set camp in front of the Parliament.

Inspector General (IG) Police Islamabad Bani Amin, at the outset of the hearing, produced 16-year-old Umer Muhammad Wali Khan, who went missing on March 10 before the bench. He also submitted an investigating report in this regard as well.

The IGP also stated that the abductee Umer Mehmood Wali Khan had been recovered due to his formal and informal efforts. He stated, “agencies had abducted the detenue” and that he made a request to his counterpart for helping him to trace out the abductee.

When the court inquired that whether he contacted the Inspector General of Police, Punjab ,for this purpose, the IG stated that he contacted ISI. When he was asked to disclose who is involved in this case of abduction, he again replied that he contacted all the three agencies i.e. ISI, MI and IB.

This statement was reiterated by him in the presence of the Attorney General for Pakistan. However, his stand is that as the FIR has been registered and the matter is being investigated, therefore, at this stage he is not in a position to finally ascertain the involvement of any of the agencies.

“We have pointed out to the IGP, Islamabad, that this is not for the first time rather time and again this court has been making it clear that if any person is involved in any criminal activity against the nation or the State, as the case may be, he should be dealt with strictly under the law by getting registered a case against him and without registration of a case, his detention would be illegal, as such, keeping the detenue Umar Mehmood Wali Khan in detention for a period of six days prima facie has no justification,” the court said in its order.

The chief justice said that it should be investigated that who kidnapped the boy, saying the number of missing persons is increasing.

The court also inquired from the boy that who had abducted and detained him, he stated that he is not in a position to disclose the name of the persons, however, he stated that they had been interrogating him for a period of six days.

The father of Umer informed the bench that some unknown men had abducted his son in front of him. He observed; “We came to Pakistan one-and-a-half years ago and now mulling to go back.”

In such state of affairs, we have to show great concern about the life and liberty of our citizens. At the cost of reparation again we are pointing out that if any one, whosoever he may be, is found involved in an offence against the State or Nation, he deserves no leniency or compromise and is required to be dealt with in terms of Article 10A of the Constitution, but simultaneously it is the duty of the State to protect the life and liberty of the citizens.

The court said, “through the Attorney General for Pakistan we communicate to the all concerned that if they are required to cause arrest or detention of any person, to be found involved in an offence against the State or Nation or in violation of any substantive law he should be dealt with in accordance with relevant provisions of law and no permission can be given for illegal detention of any one because we have to strictly follow the rule of law and the constitution.”

The CJP said it is illegal to arrest people without any case and there was no reason to hold Umer for six days and the court had given several decisions on this matter.

Justice Khilji Arif Hussain observed that the court could not allow anyone to do against the Constitution.

The court also asked the Islamabad police to submit an investigative report regarding the abduction of a boy, within the next two weeks.