ISLAMABAD -  The Supreme Court on Thursday sought a detailed report about persons kept in internment centres and directed the authorities to arrange meetings of missing persons with their families.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard petitions of missing persons filed through Anma Masood Janjua, chairperson Defence of Human Rights Pakistan. The bench referred cases of 15 missing persons to the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances with the direction to dispose them of in one-month.

The court observed how can chairman of the commission on missing persons Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal hold two offices.

Justice Ijaz questioned who are those persons imprisoned in the internment centres as they wanted to know the complete picture of the missing persons. He asked how anyone could be kept in the custody without proper trial, adding if someone has committed a crime then he should be awarded sentence. The judge asked would it be explained why the people have been kept in prisons for many years.

Justice Ejaz remarked that the families of the missing persons approach the apex court for the recovery of their dear ones. He said no satisfactory reply has been given to the court about the status of the missing persons. The judge said that after the report, they would move step by step.

Deputy Attorney General Sajjid Ilyas sought a one-month time to submit the report on the working of the internment centres. However, the bench dismissed his request. Justice Ejaz said that when the information could be obtained by pressing one button why they need a month time for filing the report.

DAG Illyas said that 58 persons were reported missing this year. Justice Ejaz said still those people were appearing before the court who had appeared before him when he was chief justice Peshawar High Court. He said still the government and the agencies have not submitted a satisfactory report on the missing persons.

Anma Janjua informed the court that the issue of missing persons started in March 2011 and at that time, 137 persons went missing, which have increased to over 4000 since then. She filed the report of the commission on disappeared persons before the bench.

According to the report, since 2011 to till-date, 4,329 cases were filed with the Commission on Enforced Disappeared Persons. The cases disposed of till September 30, 2017, stood at 2943, while 1,386 cases remained to be pending till September 30.

The principle of Jamia Hafza told the court that “people in plain clothes picked up 15 members of her family and tortured her son-in-law and now they are threatening us on the phone”. The hearing was adjourned until November 13.