IHC questions curbs on inmate rights

In Local
April 06, 2024


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed a state law officer to justify why restrictions should be placed on a prisoner’s ability to express political opinions, considering that an ordinary citizen enjoys this right under the Constitution.

A single-member bench led by Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan issued this directive during the hearing of a petition challenging Section 265 of the Jail Rules, which prohibits political discussions by inmates.

Present in court were the petitioner, Sher Afzal Marwat Advocate, Islamabad Advocate General Iyaz Shaukat, and Court Assistant Zainab Janjua Advocate.

Justice Khan questioned, “If individuals outside of prison face no constraints in expressing their political views, why should such limitations exist within prison walls?”

The judge instructed the Islamabad advocate general to furnish relevant legal precedents on the issue and clarify the rationale behind revoking prisoners’ rights.

Court Assistant Zainab Janjua argued that it cannot be asserted that prisoners lack political rights as they retain the right to vote. The court adjourned the hearing until April 26.

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