LAHORE: The Punjab government has amended the Police Order 2002 and established an Organised Crime Unit (OCU) that replaced the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) with more administrative powers and legal cover.

The unit will handle high-profile cases and other heinous crimes including kidnapping for ransom, extortion, dacoity and robbery with murder.

The OCU has been established as the Punjab governor promulgated the Police Order (Amendment) Ordinance 2023, which has come into force at once. The Punjab law department has issued a gazette notification.

The ordinance has inserted an Article 18B, following 18A, which states: “An Organised Crime Unit shall be established in every district to take action under the Code regarding the cases to be transferred to it under sub-article (3).”

Police Order (Amend) Ord promulgated to form OCUs which will handle high-profile cases

The organised unit, in the capital city district, shall be headed by an officer of the rank of deputy inspector-general (DIG) of Police and in a city district or district by the senior superintendent of police (SSP) and superintendent of police (SP) as the case may be.

Since the police officers posted in the CIA had no powers to independently register FIRs and were dependent on SHOs at police stations, the newly promulgated ordinance has granted powers of an officer in-charge of a police station to all police officers posted in the OCU.

The ordinance has also identified the categories of crimes to be taken by the OCU as: kidnapping for ransom, extortion, dacoity, robbery, dacoity with murder, robbery with murder, theft of motor vehicle, house breaking in order to commit offence, trafficking of narcotic drugs, human trafficking and inter-provincial or inter-district gangs involved in crime against property, and high-profile cases as determined by the district police officer (DPO).

The head of the organised crime unit has been empowered to constitute a special investigation team or cell to work on different categories of cases. The IG Police may, through a standing order, post such a number of officers in the OCU as he deems fit.

Sources in the law department say the superseded CIA officers, infrastructure, logistics and human resources will be transferred to OCU for better functioning of the body.

When contacted, Punjab law department’s Director (Opinion) Naeem Khan said the CIA had been abolished with the gazette notification of the Police Order (Amendment) Ordinance 2023 and the new body OCU was given legal cover in the Police Order law. The CIA was a body created through the rules of the Police Order 2002 and had no legal cover and effective administrative powers. “Since rules are subservient to law, the CIA has been superseded by the OCU,” Mr Khan said.

When contacted CIA Lahore chief DIG retired Capt Liaquat Ali Malik to know about the arrangement and functioning of the newly-created OCU, Mr Malik opted to stay mum.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...
Another lynching
Updated 22 Jun, 2024

Another lynching

The chilling alternative to not doing anything — which appears to be the state’s preferred option — is the advent of mob rule.
Tax & representation
22 Jun, 2024

Tax & representation

THE taxation measures outlined in the budget for the incoming fiscal year have triggered a lot of concern among ...
Life of the party?
22 Jun, 2024

Life of the party?

THE launch of Awaam Pakistan, a party led by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister...