The Sindh government has decided to amend the policing and jail rules so that the registration of a first information report (FIR) against any respectable citizen under any criminal offence does not lead to their immediate arrest without first proving the allegations levelled against them.
Barrister Murtaza Wahab, who is the chief minister’s adviser on law as well as the spokesman for the provincial government, met Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Dr Usman Chachar and Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar at his office on Thursday.
Wahab said that the proposed reforms in policing and jail rules will reduce the unnecessary burden on the prison and judicial systems, adding that the proposed reforms in criminal law will benefit a large number of under-trial prisoners incarcerated over allegations related to minor offences.
He said that it is an unfortunate aspect of the policing system in the country that someone accused of a crime has to face imprisonment immediately after the registration of an FIR. He mentioned the globally practised principle of the criminal justice system that no one accused of a crime is arrested until the allegations levelled against them are proved true, lamenting that the situation in Pakistan is altogether different.
The law adviser said that not only the imprisoned person but their entire family as well become victims of the practice because securing bail from court usually faces delays. He said that jails across the country are full of under-trial prisoners who are facing incarceration because of cases related to minor offences pending against them, lamenting that the situation has created an unnecessary burden on jails as well as the judicial system.
He also said that the country’s criminal law will be amended in such a manner that only those people will be arrested who are either already hardened criminals or deemed a threat to the security and safety of society.
He pointed out that a thorough process of deliberations has been started to adopt such amendments in criminal laws for the larger good of society.