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Prison CP - August 1997

Corpun file 1346 at

News of the Nation, Lahore, 17 August 1997

Prisoners allowed right of appeal: PLC

By Our Staff Reporter

LAHORE - Pakistan Law Commission (PLC) has recommended for allowing right of appeal to the prisoners against the major penalties they get at the hands of the jail authorities.

In its report on Jail Reforms the PLC says that with a view to checking the abuse/misuse of authority by the jail superintendent, it is appropriate that an appellate authority is prescribed to review the orders of jail superintendent. Such an authority may be within the hierarchy of jail authorities. It is therefore, recommended to the federal government that the prisoners should have a right of appeal against a major penalty to the Inspector General, Prison whose order shall be final.

The Commission in its report has also recommended for abolishing the law of putting bar fetters on the prisoners as well as awarding them whipping punishment and has taken a strong view of the complaints regarding abuse of authority, exceeding limits, in the award of punishment by the jail superintendent. The report has also noted with concern the complaints made in relation to the accumulation of vast power in the hands of jail authorities.

The Commission has termed as inhuman the act of fettering the prisoners and punishing them with whips. "The government has already passed the Abolition of Punishment of Whipping Act 1996 under which whipping has been abolished. It is, therefore, recommended that the relevant prison rules may also be repealed accordingly."

It has been further recommended that the punishment of putting bar fetters should also be abolished in all prisons. The same punishment has been abolished by the government of NWFP through Prison (NWFP) (Amendment) Act 1996 on the recommendation of high powered committee, constituted by the NWFP Assembly. The same has also been recommended by the Justice (Retd) Z.A. Channa's Committee, constituted by the Government of Sindh.

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