The Peshawar High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking an increase in salaries of superintendents, assistant and deputy superintendents posted in prisons across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
A two-judge bench comprising Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Lal Jan Khattak dismissed the petition after hearing arguments and replies from both the government and the counsel of the petitioner.
During the hearing, petitioner Zahir Shah’s counsel Zakir Hayat told the bench that salaries of superintendents, assistant and deputy superintendents are very low because of which they are facing numerous problems. The court was also informed that the government of Punjab had raised the salaries of prison employees to around 150%. Not only were their salaries increased, their positions were also upgraded; the same should be granted to employees in K-P, argued Hayat.
Counsel for K-P’s finance department, Shumail Ahmad Butt, and Additional Advocate General Qaiser Ali Shah appeared on behalf of the government. They said the provincial government recently gave two increments to prison employees.
“Prison employees were given Rs100 as a washing allowance and Rs1,000 for ration. The Punjab government has a larger budget than K-P so it increased salaries according to its resources,” said Butt.
The court later dismissed the petition after going through the arguments of both the government and the petitioner.
On August 20, the K-P government announced plans to construct seven high-security prisons in the province. Besides construction of a high security prison in Mardan, six more will be constructed in DI Khan, Kohat, Bannu, Lower Dir, Haripur and Mansehra.
As soon as the prison in Mardan is complete, high-profile inmates will be shifted via helicopter. There, they will be kept in 127 specially designed cells under three-layered security walls, with the boundary wall being bomb and bulletproof.
The single-member bench of Justice Ikramullah Khan granted bail to a suspect arrested with heavy weapons while he was on his way to allegedly smuggle them to Punjab.
The court was informed by accused Ismail’s counsel Advocate Asad Danyal Chamkani that Badhaber police stopped his client’s vehicle on suspicion on August 26. Ismail, however, fled and left his driver behind who was detained by the police. Police also seized 500 pistols, nine AK-47s and 6,000 rounds of ammunition from the vehicle.
The petitioner added his client was arrested after the driver’s statement on September 9. The lower court earlier rejected the bail application of the accused. However, the high court ordered the release of the accused after furnishing two surety bonds worth Rs0.5 million.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 28th, 2014.