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KARACHI: The provincial cabinet has decided to affix electronic devices in the body of habitual offenders, particularly the street criminals to ensure their effective monitoring; though some of the members termed it against the human rights yet it was approved with majority vote.

The cabinet meeting was held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here at CM House. The meeting was attended by all provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, chief secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman P&D and others.

The Home Department presented the draft of The Sindh Habitual Offenders’ Monitoring Bill 2022 with the objective to ensure effective monitoring of habitual offenders using modern technology; checking the menace of street crime and ensuring safer cities and neighbourhoods in the province focusing on urban areas.

The meeting was told that an electronic monitoring unit in the form of an anklet or bracelet would be affixed to a habitual offender. “A single-unit tracking device for each Habitual Offender that contains a central processing unit with global positioning system and cellular technology in a single unit; and permit active, real time, and continuous monitoring of offenders round the clock,” the draft law says.

Section-3 of the draft law spells out the procedure for attachment of electronic monitoring devices. The law says it would be affixed through Court’s Order upon application of Prosecutor or Police Officer for the period, he would remain on bail.

The court of law would explain the operation of the device and its terms & conditions to the habitual offender.

The section-4 of the draft law imposes a three-year imprisonment on the habitual offender for his failure to comply with terms and conditions and imposes Rs1 million penalty or three years imprisonment in case of tampering with electronic monitoring device.

The Section 5 of the draft law says the habitual offender would have to seek prior permission from officer in charge of the Police Station of the concerned area before moving from his permanent place of residence for any period and to keep him informed about the place he would be visiting and the persons, he would be meeting during the stay.

When the chief minister opened discussion on the draft bill, some of the cabinet members termed it a violation of human rights. Some of the members opined that the harsh clauses would discourage street crime. After a long debate the draft law was approved with majority vote and referred to the assembly where it would be debated again.

The Fisheries & Livestock department presented draft rules “The Sindh Registration and Regulation of Fishing Jetties Rules-2022”, saying that different agencies have reported that a number of illegal jetties were being operated along the coastal areas of Sindh. This entire activity was reported to be completely unchecked by government agencies causing an approximate loss of Rs. 4 to 5 billion annually in the form of evasion of taxes or duties to the government and affecting fish exports.

The meeting was told that these jetties were feared to be used for smuggling of goods, fish, fuel and even drugs to and from Pakistan and could also be used by terrorists/ foreign hands to penetrate their agents into Pakistan.

In pursuance of the information, the chief secretary held a meeting, wherein it was decided that the issue of rules/ regulations with regard to jetties should be resolved.

The cabinet was told that there were 64 unregistered jetties, including five at Keamari, 27 in Malir, 29 in Thatta, two in Sujawal and one at Badin.

The cabinet approved the Rules and directed the Fisheries department to lease/ license the jetties against a prescribed fee for a period of three years.

According to the Rules the department would have the authority to conduct inspection of the jetty prior to its registration and licensing. The provincial Marine wing of Fisheries department would raise Marine Police to provide security to the Jetties and maintain law and order there.

The cabinet also approved a 15-member Board of directors of Karachi Fisheries Harbour Authority under Minister Fisheries & Livestock.

The provincial cabinet expressed serious reservations on the opening of CJ Link Canal at a time when Sindh has acute shortage of drinking water. The cabinet urged IRSA to take necessary measures to close CJ Link Canal.

The cabinet approved allotment of 200 acres land at Taluka Rohri, district Sukkur for the displaced families of canals. The cabinet decided that the land would be leased out for a period of 99 years and each displaced family would be given 80 square yards. The chief minister said that the allotment of the land was pending from 2017. He directed the BoR to hand over the land to Commissioner Sukkur for onward allotment to the families.

The cabinet approved establishment of a Technology Park at NED University under PPP mode. The NED University was also allowed to initiate the process and seek the status of Special Economic Zone for eight years. The provincial government would also financially support the university’s IT Intervention Fund.

The cabinet granted exemption from payment of Property Tax in respect of properties owned by Dawat-e-Hadiyah, Karachi and some other properties owned by Bohra Community in the city.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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