Criminal justice system of Pakistan


Shuja Ahmed Awan,
Pakistan is one of the important developing countries in the Asia. For Pakistan to develop rapidly we need to ensure peace and prosperity in the state, for which we have our lazy criminal justice system in the country which includes Police, Prosecution, and prisons; all of them are very slow and less responsive. Firstly, we have the decades old police rules of 90s that needs a rapid change in order to apprehend nature of the newly commit crimes that did not existed back in 90s, as Cyber. Moreover, police, too, misuse their powers sometime, for which a reform is needed in order to ensure peace in society. Reforms would, at least, add some boost into the process of investigation and fair policing process. But, amidst this dismal condition we hardly talk about reforms or want to reform in actual means. Police is an esteemed department that interact the most with the society on regular basis, if such an important agency of the state is less responsive in terms of their function, why would citizens go to the police stations to lodge an FIR if some unjust had happened to them? Moreover, there is a trust deficit between Police and people; victims don’t want to go to police stations because of their torturous questions and less response. Policemen available at the police stations are rude and bossy while communicating with the victims, they communicate in a way as if the person who had come to lodge an FIR is himself the accused. This needs to change if we want peace in society. Communications with victims should be in a disciplined way that calm them and ensure that the legal remedy will be provided as soon as possible. This would strengthen the long broken bond between the police and society. Secondly, we have Prosecution, legal counsel of the state that’s responsive unlike the police. But this is not enough to provide speedy justice to the victims, there are thousands of cases pending in the courts be it the higher courts or the session courts.  However, after the recent induction of model courts the cases are less likely to be decided in long run. Yes, this is a plus point. But, there is much that needs to be done in order to have transparent and speedy justice giving process. Lastly, we have Prison which again is a department run by an outdated Prisons Act 1894, which like the police need a serious reform and immediate restructure. There is no proper authority for check and balance system of the prisons. First thing that we should know is that, prisons are to punish the criminals and teach them and train them to live in society a peaceful and a disciplined life, which is less likely to be seen in Pakistani prisons. People confined in the cells are seen gambling and abusing, and even bribing the officials for their illegal needs, which is against the mandate of the state’s prisons. Moreover, the infrastructure of the prisons we have paints a stone-age glimpse that is disappointing; the healthcare of the prisoners is not a matter of concern for the authorities; social behavior and ethics are not taught to the prisoners.

If we want the writ of the state to exist, we need revive our poor criminal justice system which is in serious need of a rapid reform. Because, the constitution of Pakistan 1973, that is the supreme law of the land, guarantees security and safety of its citizens.  Be it the Police, Prosecution, or Prisons all of them should be checked properly as they maintain law and order situation in the state. Our priorities need to change if we want peace in society.

(-The writer is a Education:  Undergraduate of LAW. Shahdadkot, Sindh.)




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