Evolve mechanism to curb police abuse, Supreme Court
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed federal and provincial law officers to develop a mechanism to redress people’s complaints against police torture.
Hearing a case against police torture and non-registration of complaints, a three-judge bench led by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja also directed them to prepare a comprehensive report on overhauling the procedure of registering FIRs based on recommendations from all provinces. The law officers were also asked to seek guidance from former police officers to improve the country’s criminal justice system.
During proceedings, the bench observed that the Police Order 2002 had become ‘worthless’ in the absence of a local government system.
Justice Khawaja lamented that despite the fact that it is a constitutional requirement and even though the court had issued repeated reminders, governments responsible for conducting local government polls have not done so for the last nine years. Because of this, he said, the Public Safety Commission and Police Order 2002, which were effective forums to redress complaints against police torture, had become inoperative.
Justice Khawaja also remarked that “since 1860, the police system we have has nothing to protect people from police abuse and no efforts have been made to rectify this.” He added that it was the government’s responsibility to protect citizens from state oppression.
“Not everyone can approach the Supreme Court against the police cruelty,” Justice Khawaja said. He pointed out that no policeman had been sentenced for registering fake FIRs.
The bench observed that police inaction in redressing citizens’ complaints had led to a loss of faith in the country’s criminal justice system. It called for a uniform and effective system for police accountability which could also protect honest officers from fabricated complaints.
Meanwhile, the Sindh government is planning to establish Provincial Criminal Justice Coordination Committee for the mentoring of investigation, operation and prosecution of the criminal cases.
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