ISLAMABAD, Jan 22 (APP):The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice Tuesday directed the Director General (DG) of the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports Ishrat Ali to come up with suggestions to curtail the Black List mechanism since it has no legal value.

The committee with Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi in chair, asked the DG Immigrations & Passports and DG Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to explain the mechanism of putting people’s names on the Black List and its regulation.DG Ishrat Ali informed that the list was operation under a manual of 1954 which was subsequently amended in 1974 and 2006 whereas there was no legal provision available to qualify its legitimate status. He said that the passport office had only the responsibility to put a person’s name on the Black List after a recommendation from the court or any other competent authority or office, was received by his
office.

He suggested that there should be a legislation to overcome the lacuna in the process of Black List nomination as there were loopholes in the manual. DG FIA Bashir Ahmed Memon briefed the committee that the agency had nothing to do with the process of upholding the Black List, rather only ensures its implementation. He said that these are mostly
the Pakistanis who were detained from aboard over using forged documents for immigration and involved in other criminal offences in that country.
The chairman Senator Abbasi directed the DG Immigration and Passports to devise suggestions to halt the usage of Black List as an illegal and unnecessary tool. Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen M Mazari told the committee that the Black List was first discovered in the functional committee of human rights with the nomination of two Pashtun Tahafuz
Movement members of the National Assembly names being put at the Black List. The ministry of Interior then informed and it was discovered that the list exists despite Exit Control List, adding the illegitimacy of the Black List was also known at that time. “The existence of a covert list is
unnecessary in democratic eras,” she added.

He earlier referring to the agenda item of the committee meeting inquired about the impact of the Cost of Litigation Act, 2017 and other similar laws in reducing pendency and time of litigation process. The Secretary of Ministry of Law and Justice Abdul Shakoor Paracha informed that letter
had been written to the high court whereas the committee chair, showing discontentment over his reply, directed the Secretary to come up with the relevant output in the next meeting.

To the question of the progress made so far towards the establishment of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centers under the Alternate Dispute Resolution Act 2017, the secretary replied that letter was written for the nomination of retired district and session judges who were independent for ADR centers to the registrar Islamabad High Court whereas the court had refused to please the request of the ministry.

The committee head again refused to accept the answer of the secretary and reiterated to come up with relevant information.The high court bar representatives from across the provinces briefed the committee over the issues being faced by the general public due to lack of benches.

The committee chairman directed the secretary to take up the issue with the minister to have comprehensive deliberations with the chief justices of all high provincial courts to timely resolve the matter.

To the issue of the cases pending in the High Courts and Supreme Judicial Council against the judicial officers, the data, the secretary told the committee was not available as a letter had been moved to the relevant office in this regard. However, the letter had been written only a day earlier on Jan 21, Senator Walid Iqbal pointed out which the chair asked to present in the next meeting.

Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi said that a whole house committee would be called to discuss the issue of details of cases and references filed and disposed by the Supreme Judicial Council during the last ten years.