High Court (LHC) has sought replies from the authorities on a petition about prisoners languishing in jails because of non-implementation of rules regarding a fund for convicts unable to pay compensation in various cases.
The petitioner’s counsel Nadeem Sarwar contended that a number of convicts were languishing in different jails of Punjab over non-payment of Arsh, Diyat and Daman after completing their sentences.
He said the Supreme Court had directed the federal government to frame rules under Section 338G of PPC to give effect to some sections providing a mechanism for creating funds for payment of Arsh, Diyat and Daman of convicts languishing in jails for want of financial resources.
The federal government established a Diyat, Arsh and Daman Fund and framed its rules by invoking some sections of the PPC to provide financial assistance to the convicts who are in jail on account of non-payment of Diyat, Arsh and Daman amount to the heirs of victims due to poverty.
Soft loans or grants out of the fund were to be provided to the prisoners who fulfilled the criteria.
The counsel said that the Diyat, Arsh and Daman Fund Rules 2007 were amended last year to the extent that the State Bank should issue instructions to the scheduled banks to advance soft loans at a rate of interest not exceeding one per cent inclusive of all costs or interest-free loans to convicts for the purpose.
The amended rules also provide that the State Bank may also advise the Islamic banks to pay the amounts from their charity funds, the counsel said. He said that since the creation of the fund many meetings of the administrative committee had been held and perhaps some cases were approved in Punjab as well.
He implored the court that despite creation of the fund and constitution of a provincial sub-committee, 78 convicts were languishing in jails due to non-payment of Arsh, Diyat and Daman amounting to over Rs98.43 million despite having served their sentences.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2022.