The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday slammed police for the kidnapping of journalist Matiullah Jan, and remarked that the “entire state” was responsible for the incident. The IHC was holding a complaint hearing about the kidnapping of the journalist. Jan was abducted from outside a school where his wife operates and then he went gone for about 12 hours before his dramatic return.
“Have both structures been broken like the manner a journalist was trapped like the broad daylight?” questioned IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah. “Why would someone try to abduct a person wearing a police uniform?”
The chief justice said if the rule of law didn’t exist, anarchy would spread across the world. “Where was the Islamabad Police? How could that happen in the federal capital?” asked the high court’s chief justice. “What impression does this convey to the average citizen, that people here stroll around [without fear] in police uniforms?” he said angrily.
The chief justice said the case involved freedom of expression and of the public. He said attacks against journalists will now cease. “Whatever happens today, liability rests with the entire society,” he added. “The current government also speaks of freedom of the press. Well, the CCTV video is accessible,” said Justice Minallah. “This is a test case for the police and the government.” The chief justice instructed police to take steps to ensure that no such incidents occur again.
Advocate Jahangir Jadoon, who filed the petition for the recovery of the victim, said the matter should not be wrapped up, and the court would pursue progress information on the accident.
“Instruct the police to prosecute this accident and notify the court who is liable.
The chief justice of the IHC, however, replied by saying the court was unable to control the situation. “We would have to put trust in the police and the state, let them take measures according to the rules,” he added. Justice Minallah said the State had a responsibility to take action. He also encouraged authorities to take steps to discourage such an occurrence from occurring again. The court closed the petition owing to the return of Mattiullah Jan.