KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday asked the director general of Sindh Rangers to assist it in finding a mechanism for identifying suspects in over 75,000 ‘A-class’ cases across the province.
‘A-class’ reports of police pertain to the cases in which accused persons are unknown or untraceable.
A single bench headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar also directed the inspector general of police and IG prisons to ensure that the Criminal Record Office (CRO) of the whole province was categorised, properly maintained, linked with other districts and accessed by the investigating officers.
Moreover, the bench ordered the chairman of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to provide necessary access and facilities to the IGP to maintain the CRO with verification.
The SHC also asked the home and finance secretaries to submit in the next hearing a detailed report with regard to allocation and release of funds during the last three years to the Sindh police so that a report could be called from the quarters concerned as to whether the objective of allocation of funds was achieved or otherwise.
The SHC asks home and finance secretaries to file a three-year report about funds allocated to Sindh police
At the outset, a police officer submitted a report in compliance with an earlier order of the bench about the ‘A-class’ cases pending in courts across the province.
According to the report, there are 75,267 ‘A-class’ cases pending in the province while 25,205 such cases of heinous nature have been reported in the Karachi region since 2009.
The bench observed that despite being a metropolitan city, where a sufficient number of police and Rangers were deployed, the cases with regard to murders during dacoity, robbery and kidnapping for ransom were not only very high but culprits also remained unknown.
A lawyer, who was assisting the court as an amicus curiae, suggested that the court might issue a directive to the Rangers chief to assist the police for arresting criminals since the paramilitary force was working in Karachi jointly with police.
Therefore, the bench observed: “It is time to take Rangers into confidence in the issue involved. Let the notice be issued to DG Rangers who, hopefully, shall come forward with some mechanism of Pak-Rangers role in identification least arrest of criminals of heinous crimes.”
The bench said that all the earlier orders so far passed in this matter also be communicated to the Rangers chief to make him aware of the gravity of the issue.
It also issued a directive to send report of pending cases to the district and sessions judges with further directions that all judicial magistrates must call reports of FIRs from their respective areas in such cases and ensure that investigation was supervised and concrete steps were taken without burdening private complainants by compelling their appearance unless, otherwise, justified.
The magistrate must also maintain the record of A-class cases separately and that would be part of pending cases. The Case Flow Management System (CFMS) must flash the number of cases online.
It added that the magistrates would be competent to call IOs or issue directive to SSPs to supervise the investigation.
The bench also called the law secretary for Dec 4, the next date of hearing, after a representative of the law department sought time to comply with an earlier order to examine the Sindh Criminal Court Rules 2012.
It further directed the IGP to organise training programmes for IOs with regard to DNA and collection of evidence through CCTV cameras.
The bench also called details of funds released to police during the last three years.
These directions were issued on an application filed in 2018 in which the applicant submitted that he lodged an FIR at the Ferozabad police station, but police failed to arrest the accused and filed an A-class report. He added that he had received some information about the accused and approached the district and sessions court concerned for reinvestigation, but the plea was dismissed on the ground that the order passed by magistrate on the police report was not amendable.
The local administration on Tuesday informed an SHC division bench that they imposed a fine of over Rs3.3 million on milk shops for violating the government-notified rates.
An application was filed by Imran Shahzad seeking contempt proceedings on the grounds that the SHC had disposed of the petitions with regard to fixing milk prices in March 2018 following a settlement reached with all the stakeholders that milk would be sold at Rs94 per litre in the city.
Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2019