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Pak Supreme Court stops prisoners release

Islamabad, March 31 (IANS) The Pakistan Supreme Court has suspended the high courts orders for the release of under-trial prisoners due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was reported on Tuesday.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court heard an appeal on Monday, challenging the exercise of suo motu powers by the Islamabad High Court regarding granting bail to the under-trials, reports The news International.

“No further order shall be passed by any of the high courts and by any of the provincial governments, ICT (Islamabad Capital Territory), Gilgit-Baltistan for releasing the prisoners from jails,” the top court said in the order.

It further said if any order had been passed for the release of prisoners and not given effect or implemented till now, the same shall not be acted upon until further orders by the Supreme Court.

During the hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed questioned the IHC’s powers to issue orders for the release of 408 prisoners to pre-empt the spread of coronavirus in prisons.

He then suspended the IHC order.

All these undertrials were jailed for their involvement in minor offences.

–IANS

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