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Supreme Court’s cell to redress grievances of minorities

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Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has constituted a special cell in order to redress the grievances of minorities in the country. This cell was constituted at the Lahore registry of the Supreme Court. This cell was constituted by the Chief Justice on March 25. His decision comes after meeting with a woman who was barred from meeting CJP by his protocol.

Religious minorities in Pakistan

A staff member of the apex court registry will be taking applications from complainants hailing from minorities. This cell will also receive complaints relating to human rights abuses. These complaints will be forwarded to the Chief Justice.

Also Read: Pakistani Christian man beaten to death by doctors and security staff

In line with details, Sughran Bibi tried to block Chief Justice’s vehicle in a bid to meet him after being unable to contact him. Chief Justice expressed sorrow after hearing the woman and remarked: “I was barred by my security staff from meeting this woman. This troubled me. As such, I have decided to establish two offices — one for minorities and the other for human rights cases — in our Lahore office to swiftly receive and address such complaints.”

Christian leaders applauded Chief Justice for initiating compliant cell for the minorities. In this regard, Founder of Pakistan Minorities Alliance (PMA), Tahir Naveed Chaudhry told ucanews.com: “We welcome and appreciate the chief justice’s order.” Mentioning the SC’s landmark verdict about religious minorities he said: “However, if the authorities had implemented Justice Tassaduq Jillani’s order [issued four years ago] we would not have needed these offices”.

A spokesman for Masiha Millat Party (Christian Nation Party), Aftab Gill told ucanews.com: “The order shows the chief justice cares for all of the communities who live in the country,” adding that this was the need of the hour. “But it remains to be seen how the Supreme Court cell will provide relief to people from minorities who can’t afford expensive lawyers to fight their cases,” he continued.

In 2014, then CJP Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jillani authored a landmark judgment concerning the religious minorities in Pakistan. SC ordered for the constitution of a national council of minorities’ rights. This council would be monitoring the practical realization of the rights and safeguards bestowed upon the religious minorities by the constitution of Pakistan.

The Apex Court also ordered the formation of a special task force to protect worship places of minorities. “Special Police Force [to] be established with professional training to protect the places of worship of minorities,” SC ordered.