ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court was informed Tuesday that the Punjab police received 1,299 unidentified dead bodies in the last two years.

Additional Advocate General Punjab Razaq A Mirza submitted Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) regarding registration and tracking of unidentified dead bodies before a two-member bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja that heard the application of Chairman Voice for Baloch Missing Persons Nasrullah Baloch.

The AAG Punjab also submitted the Inspector General Punjab police report, wherein it is stated that 1299 unidentified dead bodies were received in 2013-2014 and out of them 1248 dead bodies were buried, adding 51 dead bodies were also handed over to the anatomy department.

The report further states that if a body is unidentified, the officer making the investigation shall record a careful description of it, giving all marks, peculiarities, deformities and distinctive features shall take the figure impression and in addition to taking all the reasonable steps to secure identification shall, if possible have it photographed and it cases where such action appears desirable, a description published in the Criminal Intelligent Gazette.

According to the SOP, the data of unidentified dead bodies will be gathered by SHO concerned and hosted uploaded on the web at the level of DPO/CPO within 24-hour of the information received, adding that data of unidentified patients will be uploaded by the medical superintendent of the concerned hospital. "Unidentified dead bodies will be buried in a graveyard within Union Council of the concerned police station jointly by the SHO and secretary Union Council concerned. SHO will be responsible for contacting the secretary Union Council," it added.

The SOP further states that in case unidentified bodies have been handed over to a charitable organisation for burial, concerned secretary Union Council will still be associated with the burial proceedings.

"Grave of the unidentified dead body will be marked and recorded in separate burial register with the SHO and at the office of the Union Council. The same will be forwarded to the DPO concerned for uploading on the web," it added.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Health Department also submitted a report. In accordance with the rule and regulations, the investigation officer will bring the dead bodies to the concerned hospital for the postmortem examination.

"The post-mortem will be carried out, cause of death, mode of death and weapon will be ascertained and dead body will be handed over the police and IO after getting the specimens of dead body will submit the same to the Punjab Forensic Science Agency Lahore for DNA test," it added.

The report further states that IO according to the police rules under section 25, 38 on the basis of non identification will hand over the dead body to the head of anatomy department.

"Head of anatomy department will send a daily request to the head of Forensic Department regarding their requirements of cadavers. In case, the number of unclaimed bodies brought to the Forensic Department exceeds the requirements to Anatomy department, the Forensic Department will hand over the unclaimed bodies back to the investigating officer after completion of postmortem examination for burial," it added.

During the proceeding, the court expressed unhappiness over Sindh and KP governments for not submitting procedure regarding the registration of unidentified dead bodies.

The additional advocate generals of Sindh and KP sought more time to do the needful. However, the bench asked; "Do not mock with the people of Pakistan and take this matter seriously." "State should perform the role of mother of mothers. Put yourself in the shoes of mother, whose son is missing," Justice Jawwad. Directing both the provincial governments to submit reply adjourned the hearing till February 10.