In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court on Wednesday barred police from filing more than one First Information Report (FIR) in any criminal case.
The seven-member larger bench, led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, also barred police from arresting an accused, nominated in an FIR, without obtaining substantial evidence or proofs. The court passed the orders in connection with an application filed with the Human Rights Cell of the apex court.
"There is no ground for another FIR after lodging the first FIR in a case," read the verdict. The apex court also directed the police to complete initial investigation after filing a case and before arresting an accused.
Instead of lodging a new FIR, the investigation officer of a case should record the statement of the relevant person if a new angle surfaces during a probe into a case, the court verdict read.
The apex court said in its verdict that it is an obligation for an investigation officer to investigate all aspects of a case. The officer is responsible for highlighting the truth. The purpose of filing a case is to unveil the truth and catch the guilty people.
A challan should be submitted to a trial court after completion of investigations into the case, the court decided and directed the authorities to send copies of the ruling to all police chiefs. The bench also directed all inspector generals to ensure implementation of the verdict in letter and spirit.
The human rights application was filed by a petitioner Sugran Bibi who had approached Chief Justice Saqib Nisar's car in Lahore, seeking the top court to listen to her plea. According to her statement, her only son was killed in a "fake encounter" with police when she refused to hand over her home to Azam Butt and his accomplices. Later, Azam Butt got her implicated in a kidnapping for ransom case and she had to serve a 10-month jail term.
She alleged that her elder daughter was kidnapped by the accused during her imprisonment and there was no clue yet about her whereabouts. The CJP had ordered that the matter be treated as a suo motu case, while directing issuance of notices to all the accused, including the police officers, to appear before the court.
She had sought a separate FIR against the murder of his son, however, the court has dismissed her application on the grounds that two FIRs can't be lodged in one case.