Sindh High Court Summons the Head of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in Connection with Missing Persons

October 21, 2021

The Sindh High Court expressed its displeasure with the Provincial Task Force (PTF) and a Joint Investiga­tion Team for Missing Persons on Wednesday, ordering the JIT head to appear in court on November 15.

A two-judge bench led by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto also expressed regret that the PTF had only completed formalities while discussing missing persons cases, and directed it to discuss and consider the cases of all missing persons separately before passing orders to the JIT head and investigating officers.

When the bench heard a set of identical missing persons petitions, the police submitted a progress report stating that the 21st session of the JIT was held on Oct 15 to discuss the case of two brothers who went missing from the Airport area in 2014, but the report was still awaited.

The bench slammed the JIT, claiming that several sessions had been held but stereotype reports had been filed on multiple occasions. It summoned the JIT head to appear with the previous session’s report and explain the efforts he was making to recover the missing persons.

The bench also expressed dissatisfaction with the PTF and police reports, and directed the JIT and PTF to hold the sessions again at the next hearing and submit reports.

Petitioner Uzma Shahzadi claimed that her sons, Maad Ahmed Khan and Talha Ahmed Khan, were kidnapped in April of 2014. The bench also summoned the head of the JIT in two other similar petitions filed in 2014 and 2016.In another case, a man and his nephew went missing in 2009 from Quaidabad, according to the police report, several sessions of JIT were held, and the matter was also discussed by PTF, but there was no information about the missing person.

The bench noted that the PTF had apparently directed the head of the JIT and IO to obtain the Federal Investigation Agency’s travel history for the missing persons (FIA). However, the bench expressed regret that the head of JIT and IO had failed to collect the travel history since 2014, and ordered the FIA director (Sindh) to submit the same before the next hearing. Petitioner Mohammad Nawaz claimed that he, his brother Mohammad Amin, and nephew Mohammad Ilyas were apprehended by law enforcement personnel in 2009 and later turned over to police in an illegal weapon case. The petitioner claimed that while he had been acquitted by the trial court, the whereabouts of his brother and nephew had not been revealed since their arrest.

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