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Police complaints office set up to reduce burden on judicial system

Updated March 15, 2019

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Staff of 31 officials has been requested in this regard, says official. — Umer bin Ajmal/File
Staff of 31 officials has been requested in this regard, says official. — Umer bin Ajmal/File

ISLAMABAD: An office has been set up for the superintendent of police (complaints) (SP) to reduce the burden on the judicial system under the direction of the National Judicial (Policymaking) Committee.

A senior police officer from the capital told Dawn the office had been set up to deal with complaints related to unregistered FIRs and police failures to fulfil their functions and duties.

An additional SP is being designated SP (complaints) to deal with applications regarding unregistered FIRs under section 22-A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), he said.

The additional SP will hold this charge until the post is sanctioned, he added. A summary has been prepared to create a post for an SP (complaints) along with office staff, which has been sent to the competent authority.

The officer said a staff of 31 officials has been requested in this regard, which will include an SP, a deputy superintendent of police, four inspectors and eight sub-inspectors.

The office of the inspector general of police Islamabad has prepared standard operating procedures (SOP) for the SP (complaints) office, he added.

He said an aggrieved citizen can approach the office with a written application, supported by an affidavit and other evidence, in the event of unregistered FIRs and matters related to the failure of police to fulfil their duties by offices of the station house officer, sub divisional police officer and zonal superintendent.

The SP would record the application in the police complaints redressal system (PCRS) and generated an e-record of the complaint.

According to the SOP, the SP will then call the applicant and the accused and, if needed, hear both parties before making a decision within seven days through a speaking order, as per section 24-A of the general clauses act.

If the complaint is found to be cognisable, the SP will ensure the registration of an FIR. If it is not cognisable, this would also be stated in the speaking order, and if it is found to be false, directions will be issued to initiate legal action under the relevant laws.

The working of the SP will be supervised by the deputy inspector general of police (operations), the SOP states. A report of the complaints will be submitted to the assistant inspector general of police (establishment) in the first week of each month.

A police officer said the National Judicial (Policymaking) Committee has ordered for an office to be set up, as sessions and additional sessions judges courts are currently burdened with cases seeking directions for police to register cases under the CrPC.

The committee has previously been informed that between January 2017 and February 2019, 614, 307 cases were filed in the district and sessions courts under sections 22-A and 22-B of the CrPC throughout the country, and 47,029 cases under these provisions were filed in high courts in this period, he added.

Published in Dawn, March 15th, 2019