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ISLAMABAD: The police are struggling to meet investigation costs after exhausting its approved budget for the current fiscal year in nine months.

A senior police officer told Dawn the situation is compromising the quality of police investigations and burdening complainants.

Financial assistance was sought in early March, but a reply in this regard is still awaited, the official added.

The Islamabad police were allocated Rs6.9 billion for the current year, of which Rs3.2m was allocated for investigations, he said.

The investigations allocation has finished before the end of the fiscal year.

“The shortage of funds came to notice early this year,” he said, adding that by the end of February, the investigations budget had been completely exhausted.

The Central Police Office has approached the interior ministry for a supplementary grant from the Ministry of Finance, the officer said.

The officer said that in a letter addressed to the interior ministry, the inspector general of Islamabad police had requested Rs30m for a supplementary grant under the head of investigation costs.

The letter said that Rs3.2m were allocated in this regard in the current fiscal year and were insufficient to meet the expenditure related to case investigations.

Therefore, additional funds amounting to Rs30m are required for the rest of the fiscal year to meet expenses.

Investigation costs include the transportation of a body to a mortuary for a postmortem examination, the preparation of a site plan through a draftsman, the dispatch of articles suspected to bear human bloodstains to the serologist through a chemical examiner.

They also include the dispatch of offensive weapons and empties recovered from spot ballistic experts, the transportation of suspects and raids conducts to arrest criminals in other part of the district or provinces, the letter added, as well as arrangements to bury bodies in blind murder cases, photographs of bodies and accident sites, the arrangement of identification parades of suspects and the transportation of witnesses to jail and back in cases of sabotage and sectarian terrorism.

Meals for suspects in custody, the transfer of stolen vehicles from other districts or provinces and the shifting of suspected vehicles to the Forensic Science Laboratory are also listed, as well as the use of scientific aids such as lifting finger prints, foot molds, handwriting analysis and other incidental charges.

Officials from the police’s investigation wings and police stations told Dawn that most of the investigation costs are born by complainants, and the costs of investigations vary depending on the situation and circumstances.

In practice, investigators have to arrange investigation expenses themselves and then seek reimbursement, but they added the expenses are arranged from complainants.

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2018