Extra-judicial killings

KARACHI: Extra-judicial killings carried out by the police frequently in Pakistan are not only illegal and inhuman but also highly condemnable. It negatively affects the faith people have in our legal system and courts. Under the law, the police are to arrest the criminals and to investigate the crime but not to exceed their limits of power. It is the collective responsibility of the police and the judicial magistrate of the area to have effective control over the local police so that they perform their duties within their powers. Magistrates are empowered by the law to order the superintendent of police to take suitable measures for the prevention and detection of crime and are also authorised to inspect police stations in their jurisdictions.

It is the duty of the inspector general of police of each province to see that all the officers subordinate to him perform their duties in accordance with the law and carry out all the investigations with transparency. Section 29 of the Police Act says that a police officer, who is in violation of the rules or wilfully breaches or neglects any rule or regulation or lawful order made by competent authority or offers any unwarranted violence to any person in his custody, shall be liable to three months of imprisonment. If any police official is involved in extra-judicial killing, he must be punished under the strict clauses of Police Rules 1934, Police Order 2002 and Pakistan Penal Code 1860.

Extra-judicial killings are a disgrace to the law and cannot be condoned. If the police themselves violate the law, they have no right to be described as custodians of the law. It is alleged that whenever any complaint is made to the higher police authorities about excessive use of force they try to mask the wrongdoings and protect their subordinates.

Arsalan Raja

Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2018.

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Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1618132/6-extra-judicial-killings/