ISLAMABAD: Lawyers across the country on Wednesday observed a strike against the formation of a National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) – a complaint cell – in every district to deal with complaints related to unregistered First Information Reports (FIR) and police failure to fulfil their duties.
The formation of complaint cell under the supervision of the superintendent of police (complaints) under Sections 22A and 22B of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) is to hear complaints against police, which was earlier directly under the supervision of the justice of peace or sessions judges.
The legal fraternity boycotted the court proceedings and demanded the restoration of previous practice.
The lawyers were of the view that through new setup the procedure of dispensation of justice would be lengthy and expensive for an aggrieved person. After formation of the committee, an aggrieved person would have to approach to the superintendent of police before pleading to the court, they added.
It is pertinent to mention here that the NJPMC which includes all chief justices and seeks to bring judicial reforms in the country on March 11, resolved that applications under section 22-A CrPC might not be entertained by courts unless accompanied by the decision of relevant district superintendent of police for complaints.
However, the Pakistan Bar Council, not welcoming the decision of the committee, announced two-day strike and decided not to appear before the courts against the reforms.
Earlier, the Ministry of Law and Justice also issued a clarification by saying that the office of the superintendent of police (complaints) had been created as part of the complaints against the police redressal mechanism as a form of internal accountability within the police and creation of that office in no way takes away or abridges the jurisdiction of a justice of peace under section 22-A(6), CrPC or the jurisdiction of a high court under Article 199 of the Constitution in relevant matters.
It added that an aggrieved person can still lawfully approach a justice of peace or a high court in respect of a complaint against the police after exhausting his adequate alternate statutory remedy before a superintendent of police (complaints).