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ISLAMABAD: The inspector general of police (IGP) Islamabad has been advised to withdraw a directive he issued for the appointment of head constables as investigators of minor cases as it turned out to be against the rules.

The directive issued from the office of the IGP a few weeks ago stated: “During morning meeting, the IGP directed that henceforth minor cases should be investigated by the confirmed head constables. Further necessary action may be taken accordingly under intimation to this office.”

But some senior police officers said IGP Dr Sultan Azam Temuri had issued the direction without knowing the rules and law under which the capital police were still working.

They said the capital police were working under the Police Rule 1861 under which giving the task of an investigation to a head constable was not allowed.

Under the rules, only the upper subordinates - assistant sub-inspector, sub-inspector and inspector - can be appointed as an investigation officer. A constable is a lower subordinate and cannot be given the task of investigation, they added.

The officers informed the IGP that his directive was illegal and should be withdrawn. Later, assistance was sought from the legal department which also stated that lower subordinates cannot be given an investigation task. It also suggested that the IGP should withdraw the order.

However, the directive is yet to be cancelled by the IGP office but has not been implemented either.

IGP Temuri could not be contacted for comments.

However, SSP Najeebur Rehman Bugvi told Dawn that the directive had been issued to give the task of investigating minor cases to intermediate head constables (IHCs) in order to reduce the workload of upper subordinates.

IHCs are officials who are eligible for promotion to the rank of an assistant sub-inspector, he explained.

He said Punjab and KP police were giving investigation of minor cases to IHCs. But the police in the two provinces are working under Police Order 2002 under which subordinates can be appointed as investigating officers, he added.

However, the capital police are still working under Police Rule 1861 under which subordinates cannot be appointed as investigating officer. So the directive cannot be implemented in the capital, he said.

Minor cases are those in which the convict gets a maximum of three years’ imprisonment, including fraud, forgery, theft and carrying illegal arms, he stated.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2018