ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Police Reforms Committee (PRC) was held in the Supreme Court on Monday under the chairmanship of Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Chief Justice of Pakistan/Chairman Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan.
The meeting was attended by Amjad Javed Saleemi, IGP Punjab, Dr Naeem Khan, IGP KP, Dr SK Imam, IGP Sindh, Mohsin A Butt, IGP Balochistan, Amir Zulifiqar Khan, IGP ICT, Salahauddin Khan, IGP AJK, Sanaullah Abbasi, IGP Gilgit-Baltistan, former IGPs Tariq Khosa, Shoukat Javed, Tariq Parvez, Dr Shoaib Suddle, Syed Masud Shah and Afzal Ali Shigri to discuss the implementation of public complaints redressal mechanism, measures to improve quality of investigation and criminal justice reforms as envisaged by the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
Dr Raheem Awan, Secretary LJCP, welcomed the participants and gave a brief background of the working of Police Reforms Committee and agenda of the meeting. The chief justice in his opening remarks highlighted the fact that despite launching of the PRC report, the key stakeholders of the criminal justice system and the general public are not still aware of the contents of the same. He directed that the secretariat of the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan should convene a meeting of the relevant stakeholders of the criminal justice system who would be briefed about the contents and purposes of the PRC report.
The IGP Punjab informed that the complaints redressal mechanism has already been operationalised after the direction of the Steering Committee on Police Reforms dated 29 October, 2018. He said 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 Police chief informed that around 163 complaints are being received per day to the fulltime designated police officers. He further stated that total of 11,436 complaints were received for the period from 1 December, 2018 to 8 February, 2019 and 7,382 complaints have been disposed of while 4,054 are under process.
The IGP Sindh informed that 21,218 complaints were pending on 31 December, 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 stated that 17,313 complaints were disposed of in January 2019 and the pendency as on 1 February, 2019 was 6,229.
The KP police chief informed that during January 2019, 1,573 complaints were received. He further stated that 1,037 complaints have been disposed of till 31 January, 2019, while 536 are pending.
The IGP Balochistan informed that so far 117 complaints have been received. He stated that 72 have been disposed of and 45 are under process. The ICT police chief informed that for the period 1 November, 2018 till date a total of 3,845 complaints have been received. He stated that 3,283 complaints have been redressed while 250 are in process.
The police chief of Gilgit Baltistan informed that 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 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 chief justice pointed out the grey areas of the investigations and emphasised 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.
The chief justice emphasised that training of the investigation officers and prosecutors should be carried out in the judicial academies across the country to improve their professional standards and 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.