Landmark Cases

Mst. Shahida vs. Govt. of Punjab, etc. (In the Supreme Court of Pakistan)

The case centered around an under-trial prisoner, Mahr Abdul Sattar who was being kept in bar fetters with his mouth muffled, was transferred to a High Security Prison (usually meant for convicts and high profile terrorists) and was denied the right to see his family and counsel. The Supreme Court took strict notice of the condition of the under-trial prisoner, ordering the bar fetters to be removed and that the prisoner be allowed to see his family and counsel regularly.

Yousaf Baloch vs. PPO, etc. (In the Lahore High Court)

The habeas corpus petition was filed by AGHS on behalf of a trade unionist and human rights activist seeking the recovery of a missing woman and her child. The woman and her son, missing since November, 2016 had last been seen with an affluent lawyer and his legal clerk. Due to external pressure, the investigation had been delayed significantly by the police and no steps had been taken to recover the missing individuals. The petition seeks to obtain the woman and her child’s whereabouts and their subsequent recovery through Court.

Muhammad Ahsan Bhoon vs. Federation of Pakistan, etc. (In the Supreme Court of Pakistan)

The petition challenged the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act, 2017 and the Constitution of Pakistan (Twenty First Amendment) Act, 2017 which reconstituted military courts in Pakistan. The case is pending for arguments in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Muhammad Riaz vs. Khalid Gujjar (In the Supreme Court of Pakistan)

A Writ Petition was filed in the Lahore High Court by a bonded labourer who had managed to escape a brick kiln. The individual sought the recovery of his family which included minors as young as nine months, from the brick kiln. The petition was dismissed by the Lahore High Court and AGHS challenged the decision of the Court before the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Noor Ejaz Chaudhry vs. Maheen Zafar, etc. (In the Supreme Court of Pakistan)

This petition was filed in public interest in the Supreme Court of Pakistan by human rights activists through AGHS demanding the accountability of a judge of the lower judiciary and his wife who had physically assaulted a minor child domestic worker. AGHS submitted detailed comments with recommendations to the Supreme Court to assist it on the matter of child domestic labour and child abuse in Pakistan.

South Asian Partnership vs FOP, etc. (In the Lahore High Court)

GHS filed a writ petition in the Lahore High Court on behalf of South Asian Partnership, an NGO which was closed down in multiple districts across Punjab by the Interior Ministry through the Home Department of Punjab without any just cause or reason. The Lahore High Court stated that the Orders passed by the Interior Ministry were unilateral and denied the Petitioners due process. Due to this, the Ministry of Interior was compelled to withdraw the said Orders, allowing SAP to resume its operations.

Taang Wasaib Organization vs. FOP, etc. (In the Lahore High Court)

AGHS filed a writ petition in the Lahore High Court on behalf of Taang Wasaib Organization, an NGO working on various human rights concerns, including the rights of minorities and women. Taang Wasaib was closed down by the Interior Ministry through the Home Department of Punjab without any just cause or reason and its workers had been harassed by officials on multiple occasions. The writ petition is pending for arguments in the Lahore High Court but AGHS has secured an interim order whereby the Court has allowed Taang Wasaib to resume its operations till the final disposal of the case.

Tahira Abdullah and others vs. Aizaz ul Mulk and others

A case was filed in public interest before the Supreme Court of Pakistan challenging by-elections in Lower Dir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa whereby around 54000 women were barred from voting through a collusive agreement between men of the area and winning party members. The Election Commission of Pakistan took notice of the matter and declared by-elections in the area void. The returned candidate of the election then challenged the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan in the Peshawar High Court through which the results of the by-election were upheld. Through AGHS, a number of women rights activists appealed against the decision of the High Court before the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The case is pending for arguments in the Supreme Court.

Orhan Uygun v. Federation of Pakistan

On 27th September, 2017 at 1:45 am, Mr. Uygun’s colleague, Mr. Mesut Kacmaz, living in Wapda Town, Lahore with his family, was picked up by armed plain-clothed personnel along with his relatives i.e. his wife, Meral Kacmaz and his two daughters, Huda Nur Kacmaz, aged 17, and Fatima Huma Kacmaz, aged 15. Another Turkish national and Mr. Kacmaz’s colleague, Mr. Fatih Avcu, born on 01.03.1983, lived on the first floor of the same house. In light of Mr. Kacmaz’s disappearance, Mr Uygun filed a case in the Lahore High Court requesting the Court to direct the Ministry of Interior to place the names of the family on the Exit Control List, so that the family is not illegally deported from Pakistan or subjected to torture, violence or execution. However, despite a Court Order, it transpired that the family had been deported to Turkey on 14.10.2017. It was further found that they had been kept in illegal custody by unknown personnel, and had been subjected to torture whilst in confinement. After over two weeks of being illegally confined, the family was taken to Islamabad where they were told they would be taken to the Turkish Embassy to meet with officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and would afterwards be sent back to Lahore.

Darshan Masih (PLD 1990 Supreme Court 513)

In this judgment the Supreme Court ruled that a bonded labourer can approach the court through informal means, even a telegram. It was also ruled that the form of work in a brick kiln was forced labour and that the court could in its original jurisdiction enforce the fundamental rights of the labourer. This case paved the way for the Bonded Labour Abolition Act 1992.

Shirin Munir (PLD 1990 Supreme Court 295)

AGHS appeared in the High Court and assisted senior lawyers in the Supreme Court regarding affirmative action for women for admission in medical colleges in line with Article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Sarah Palmer (PLD 1992 MLD 520)

In a number of family law cases, e.g. Sarah Palmer (PLD 1992 MLD 520) there was recognition by the courts that the Hague Convention should be considered by Pakistani courts to restore custody of children abducted to Pakistan by their Pakistani parent.

Salamat Masih (1995 PCrLJ 811)

Our first case regarding offences against religion in the High Court, where the accused (including a 12 year old boy) were acquitted resulting in large-scale protests by religious extremists on the one hand and religious minorities and members of civil society on the other hand. One judge was killed and AGHS lawyers were attacked.

Abdul Waheed (PLD 1997 Lahore 301)

This case received wide publicity and generated a heated debate in Pakistan over whether an adult Pakistani Muslim woman over the age of 18 can marry a person of her choice. Finally a three-member bench of the High Court (one dissenting) narrowly ruled that a Muslim woman in Pakistan has the right to marry someone of her own will even without the consent of her parents.

Constitutional Petition 5/2007. HRCP

Was filed for the production of 208 persons who had disappeared. After several hearings this petition remains pending but 149 persons have been traced.

Constitutional Petition 119-120/2012 and 35 others

Were filed challenging a criminal law that allows for preventive detention for an unspecified period of time and operates retrospectively thereby legitimising arbitrary detention.

CASES WHERE AGHS HAS BEEN ENGAGED AS AMICUS CURIAE IN 2017

In the matter of Women Trafficking to Afghanistan through Fake Marriage Deeds (In the Supreme Court of Pakistan)

Suo Motu notice was taken by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to enquire into the trafficking of women from the Northern Areas of Pakistan through Rawalpindi/Islamabad to Afghanistan through fake marriage deeds. Trafficked women were subsequently sold to Afghan men. AGHS’ Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Asma Jahangir, was appointed as amicus curiae to assist the Supreme Court on the matter. The case is currently pending to be heard before the Court.

Action Regarding Abduction of more than 600 Children in the Province of Punjab (In the Supreme Court of Pakistan)

Suo Motu notice was taken by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to enquire into the sudden abduction of over 600 children in the Province of Punjab in 2016. AGHS was asked to assist the Supreme Court on the subject as amicus curiae. The organization submitted a detailed report with its findings and recommendations and also referred multiple cases of missing children to the Court during the case.

Muhammad Razzaq and another vs. Federation of Pakistan (In the Lahore High Court)

AGHS was appointed as amicus curiae in a public interest case filed in the Lahore High Court seeking the implementation of the Police Order, 2002 through which the police would be enabled to act more efficiently, transparently and responsibly. AGHS assisted the Lahore High Court by submitting its comments and recommendations during arguments.