Islamabad: A two member bench headed by the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, Chief Justice of Pakistan and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Tariq Parvez heard Suo Motu Case No. 7 of 2009 (Harassment by the Gujranwala Police to Journalist and General Public).
Mr. Razzaq A. Mirza, Addl. AG, Mr. Athar Ismail, SP Saddar, Mirza Qamar-uz-Zaman, DSP Legal and Rana Mohammad Anwar, SCP Legal, Gujranwala appeared on Court’s notice. The bench heard the case and passed following order:-
“It is informed by the learned Additional Advocate General that FIRs No.142 and 146 of 2009, registered against Hafiz Shahid Munir by the Gujranwala Police, have culminated into his acquittal recorded by the Courts below on 03.09.2009 and 22.10.2010, allegedly for want of prosecution evidence.
We have enquired from learned Additional Advocate General that if there was no substance or evidence, then why the accused was challaned, because due to such conduct on the part of the Police he had suffered the agony of the two trials for a considerable period to which he could not answer satisfactorily.
2. It may be noted that this incident show how the police/law enforcing agencies behave with the citizens, knowing well that except creating harassment to the accused, at the end of the day, nothing will come out from such baseless case. Contrary to it, where there are genuine cases of commission of the crime, those are left negligently without taking any action.
Such attitude of the police has created a situation that the Courts are left with no option but to acquit the accused for which the Courts are being blamed, whereas the prosecution/police, knowing well about fate of the case, sends challan in Courts just to show that they have performed their duty but the Courts are acquitting the accused.
3. We feel that whenever such situation arises, it becomes the duty of the Supervisory Officer of police to look into the matter and find out the defect and the reasons as to why an accused has been acquitted and if the person i.e. SHO or IO is responsible for failure of the case, the Supervisory Officer should take action against them and if they are of the opinion that the cases put up by the police in Court has substance but acquittal resulted, would call for interference by the superior Courts to which they should approach the Courts by filing appeals against such orders.
4. Under these circumstances, we direct the Inspector General of Police Punjab to take both these cases as test cases for the purpose of setting deterrence by determining the real facts and circumstances and should fix the responsibility upon the police officers/officials responsible for the same. He is further directed to file a detailed report showing that for the last one year, how many accused were challaned and what is the rate of acquittal or conviction and as to how many appeals against acquittal were filed and whether conviction judgments of the original Courts have attained finality by the superior Courts or not. He is required to submit report in this regard before the next date of hearing.
Adjourned to 22.03.2012. Hafiz Shahid Munir is not required to attend this Court, unless otherwise directed.”
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