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CJP creates a ‘Police Reforms Committee’ to tackle deficiencies & suggest proposals

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ISLAMABAD: With a view to address the deficiencies in the current criminal justice system in the country on Monday especially in the context of police laws, the Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa constituted a Police Reforms Committee with mandate to examine the relevant laws and to suggest recommendations therein.

It is pertinent to mention that during its meeting on January 07, 2019, a Committee had principally decided that the police reforms may be prioritized for implementation and in this context the complaint redressal mechanism and police investigation may be taken up firstly.

While chairing meeting of the Committee on Monday the Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, who is also chairman of Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP) underscored dire need for training of the investigation officers and prosecutors the Chief Justice said such programs should be carried out in the Judicial Academies across the country in order to improve their professional standards.

While pointing out gray areas of investigations, Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa emphasized upon investigating 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.

Discussing agenda items including implementation of public complaints redressal mechanism; measures to improve quality of investigation; and criminal justice reforms under the aegis of Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Amjad Javed Saleemi, IGP Punjab, Dr. Naeem Khan, IGP KPK, Dr. S.K. Imam, IGP Sindh, Mohsin A. Butt, IGP Balochistan, Amir Zulfiqar Khan, IGP ICT, Salahauddin Khan, IGP AJK, Sana Ullah Abbasi, IGP Gilgit Baltistan, Tariq Khosa, former IGP, Shoukat Javed, former IGP, Tariq Parvez, former IGP, Dr. Shoaib Suddle, former IGP, Syed Masud Shah, former IGP and Afzal Ali Shigri, former IGP gave presentation to the Coommittee.

Welcoming the participants of the meeting, Dr. Muhammad Raheem Awan, Secretary LJCP 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. Chief Justice also issued directives to Secretary of the LJCP to convene a meeting of the relevant stakeholders of the criminal justice system for a comprehensive briefing about the contents and purposes of the ‘Police Reforms Committee Report’.

During the meeting of the Committee, the Inspector General of Police Punjab informed that the complaints redressal mechanism has already been operationalized after the direction of the Steering Committee on Police Reforms dated 29 October 2018.

Whereby 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.

The Inspector General of Police Punjab informed that around 163 complaints are being received per day to the fulltime designated police officers. He further stated that total of 11436 complaints were received for the period from 1st December 2018 to 8 February 2019 and 7382 complaints have been disposed of while 4054 are under process.

The Inspector General of Police Sindh informed that 21,218 complaints were pending on 31st December 2018 and the number of complaints received in January 2019, was 2324. He further stated that the total pendency was 23542. He further informed that as many as 17313 complaints were disposed of in January 2019 and the pendency as on 1st February 2019 was recorded as 6229.

The Inspector General of Police KPK informed that during January 2019 a total number of 1573 complaints were received, adding that as many as 1037 complaints have been disposed of till 31 January 2019 while 536 are pending.

Likewise, the Inspector General of Police Balochistan 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 Inspector General of Police ICT informed that for the period 1st November 2018 till date a total of 3845 complaints have been received whereas as many as 3283 complaints have been redressed while 250 are in process.

The Inspector General of Police Gilgit-Baltistan informed that only 15 complaints have been received and 10 have been resolved while 5 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.

Secretary LJCP 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.