–Chief Justice Khosa discusses deficiencies in criminal justice system with all police chiefs
–Key stakeholders, general public unaware of report on police reforms, says CJP
ISLAMABAD: With a view to address the deficiencies in the current criminal justice system in the country especially in the context of police laws, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khan Khosa on Monday constituted a police reforms committee with the mandate to examine the relevant laws and to suggest recommendations.
It is pertinent to mention that during its meeting on January 7, 2019, a committee had principally decided that the police reforms may be prioritised for implementation and in this context, the complaint redressal mechanism and police investigation may be taken up first.
While chairing a meeting of the committee, Chief Justice Khosa, who is also chairman of Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP), underscored the dire need for training of the investigation officers and prosecutors. The chief justice said such programmes should be carried out in the judicial academies across the country in order to improve their professional standards.
While pointing out gray area in investigations, the CJP emphasised upon probing agencies to chalk out such mechanism of investigation that not only the culprits of the offence are pointed out but they be convicted under the relevant provisions of law by providing the truthful evidence and the apprehension of false evidence be totally eliminated.
During the meeting, agenda items for discussion included implementation of public complaints redressal mechanism; measures to improve quality of investigation; and criminal justice reforms. The meeting was attended by Amjad Javed Saleemi, Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr Naeem Khan, KP IGP, S K Imam, Sindh IGP, Mohsin A Butt, Balochistan IGP, Amir Zulifiqar Khan, Islamabad IGP, Salahauddin Khan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) IGP, Sana Ullah Abbasi, Gilgit-Baltistan IGP, and former police chiefs Tariq Khosa, Shoukat Javed, Tariq Parvez, Dr Shoaib Suddle, Syed Masud Shah, and Afzal Ali Shigri who gave presentations to the committee.
Welcoming the participants of the meeting, LJCP Secretary Dr Muhammad Raheem Awan gave a brief background of the working of police reforms committee and agenda of the meeting.
Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa expressed in his opening remarks that despite launching of the police reforms committee report, the key stakeholders of the criminal justice system and the general public are not still aware of the contents of the same.
The CJP issued directives to LJCP secretary to convene a meeting of the relevant stakeholders of the criminal justice system for a comprehensive briefing about the contents and purposes of the report.
PRESENTATIONS BY POLICE CHIEFS:
During the meeting of the committee, the Punjab IGP informed that the complaints redressal mechanism has already been operationalised after the direction of the steering committee on police reforms dated 29 October 2018.
“The complaints are being received through email, post, by hand, through dedicated phone numbers and other means of communication for convenience and to facilitate the general public for speedy and expeditious redressal of grievances, being faced by them,” he added.
The Punjab IGP informed that around 163 complaints are being received per day to the fulltime designated police officers. He further stated that a total of 11,436 complaints were received for the period from December 1, 2018, to February 8, 2019, and 7,382 complaints have been disposed of while 4,054 are under process.
The Sindh IGP informed that 21,218 complaints were pending on December 31, 2018, and the number of complaints received in January 2019 was 2,324. He further stated that the total pendency was 23,542. He further informed that as many as 17,313 complaints were disposed of in January 2019 and the pendency as on February 1, 2019, was recorded as 6,229.
The KP IGP informed that during January 2019, a total number of 1,573 complaints were received, adding that as many as 1,037 complaints have been disposed of till January 31, 2019, while 536 are pending.
Likewise, the Balochistan IGP said that so far, a total of 117 complaints have been received saying from which as many as 72 have been disposed of whereas 45 complaints are under process.
The Islamabad IGP informed that for the period November 1, 2018, till date a total of 3,845 complaints have been received whereas as many as 3,283 complaints have been redressed while 250 are in process.
The Gilgit-Baltistan IGP informed that only 15 complaints have been received and 10 have been resolved while five are pending.
After these presentations, the committee deliberated that such complaints redressal mechanism will provide speedy and expeditious redressal to the complaints of the general public at their own doorstep and would also decrease the burden/backlog of the courts of law in the shape of 22-A and 22-B of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, and writ petitions of similar nature.
The LJCP secretary stated that the secretariat of the LJCP can engage with the federal and provincial judicial academies in arranging modules/courses for improvement of the professional standards of the investigation. The committee resolved that in its next meeting measures to improve the quality of investigation will be deliberated upon.