Flawed Investigation; An Impediment to Criminal Justice

Mohsin Sheikh
Investigation in the modern world investigation is carried out on scientific lines, but regrettably, here in
Pakistan, an FA or BA passed police investigator of lower rank performs the job that lacks basic skills and
knowledge. What do you anticipate from such an investigator? A flawed investigation or an enhanced
investigation? I expect that you know the answer. In the modern world, the crime scenes lead to the
offender but unfortunately, the system here is upside down. Mostly, the police tend to rely on the
complainant for registering a nominated FIR (First Information Report) However, if the police reach a
crime scene in time then they might ask questions from the witnesses as to what happened at the
scene? In addition, in the modern world if police reach a crime scene, they immediately cordon off the
premises allowing only the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) team to analyze, collect and transport
scientific evidence. Regrettably, here every one is entering and exiting the crime scene from various
directions and moving multiple significant pieces of evidence sometimes even corpses thus,
contaminating the crime scene and destroying evidence. Who will train these investigators? Can’t they
conceit that the entire crime scene mostly draws a holistic painting of how, what, and when a particular
crime happened? Won’t the crime scene if secured and handled properly will divulge multiple facts
regarding the case? Blake Edwards once said, “Nothing matters but the facts. Without them, the science
of criminal investigation is nothing more than a g essing game.” Haven’t the Police made it a guessing
game? How many accused are in jail facing death penalties, life imprisonments and other sentences to
be served in the confinement of jails due to flawed and corruption-based investigation. How easily facts
are distorted? How conveniently frivolous ‘Zimni’ is penned? These victims who are in thousands crying

out loudly in jails for a meaningful amendment which may help them prove their innocence. Hasn’t it
become a need of an hour to improve our criminal justice system? Meanwhile, Chapter 25 of Police
Rules 1934 deals with the investigation processes. It necessitates the investigators to dig out the truth of
the case under investigation which principally entails that the investigator must not blindly follow the
contents of FIR. The objective should be to discover the actual facts of the case and to ignore the
cooked-up stories regarding case thus, reaching and arresting the real offenders. Also, the investigator
must not commit himself prematurely to any view for or against any person. The investigator should
restrict his/her judgment only to facts and scientific evidence recovered from the crime scene.
Furthermore, the traditional practice of investigation must immediately be obliterated. Without an iota
of doubt, it wastes considerable time of police. Sadly, it is resorted to detaining a close relative or
torturing inhumanly to extract a confessional statement. These notorious investigation and
interrogation techniques which Police has been following since colonial times need culmination now.
The time has come to shift traditional investigation paradigms to modern investigation paradigms.
Similarly, Police Training Schools are and have been devoting maximum of their time towards physical
training and legal provisions than training officers about the latest investigation techniques.
Consequently, most of them rely on on-the-job learning. It may be anticipated how well their
performance be later on.  Moreover, unluckily, our investigators are averse to technology. Without
relevant training, knowledge, and conception, improvement in the quality of investigation will remain an
unattainable dream. Similarly, the lack of local forensic facilities further delays investigation procedure.
Therefore, I believe that Police need to hire and induct professi nal crime scene management experts for
using the latest forensic developments for collecting evidence for corroborating with the facts of the
case. The team shall ensure to avoid all sorts of contamination and chain of custody. Similarly, for
interrogation professional psychologists and criminologists must be hired for alleged criminals. They
may use enhanced interrogation techniques which are not inhuman as prevailing torture. On the whole,
it can be said that investigation is the foundational phase of the criminal justice system. Quality
investigation not only saves the time of court but also reinstate public’s confidence in the system. It shall
definitely enhance the conviction rate which is very poor i.e., below 10 percent. Our police are in dire
need of professional investigators and training of existing investigators. I humbly urge Prime Minister
Khan to fulfill the promise of police reforms he made. I entreat provincial Chief Ministers and IGP’s to
redress the issue with iron hands. It shall not only enhance conviction rates but shall also enhance the
performance of the judiciary. Likewise, we have professionals who can conduct training workshops.

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