ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday appointed ShoaibSuddle, Kamal-ud-Din Tipu, Superintendent, Central Prison, Rawalpindi and Director General National Police Bureau as amici curiae in a petition seeking implementation of the Police Order, 2002.

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice AtharMinallah conducted hearing of the petition and also appointed AbidSaqi Vice Chairman Pakistan Bar Council, Vice Chairman Islamabad Bar Council, Presidents of Islamabad High Court Bar Association, Islamabad District Bar Association and IshratHussain Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan to assist the court as an amicus.

In its order, the IHC bench directed the office to issue notices to the Chief Commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory, Secretary Ministry of Interior, Federation through the Secretary Cabinet Division and the Inspector General of Police, Islamabad Capital Territory.

It added, “They shall nominate their respective authorized officers to appear before this Court and submit their respective written comments. They shall also explain why implementation of the Police Order, 2002 is being delayed which provides for appropriate remedies regarding some of the difficulties highlighted in the petition.”

The IHC bench also directed the Registrar of the court to seek reports from the learned Sessions Judges and the Special Judges regarding reasons for delays in conclusion of criminal trials.

Justice Athar noted, “The questions raised in these petitions are of paramount public importance. The prevailing abysmal state of criminal justice system has become a major cause for grave violations of fundamental rights of the general public which inevitably leads to miscarriages of justice. The report of the Inspector General of Police which has been treated as a petition highlights some of the reasons that made the criminal justice system dysfunctional and a source of injustice rather than protecting the weak and vulnerable in the society. The highlighted factors definitely encourage corruption and corrupt practices.”

He continued that in the connected petition, the petitioner is seeking implementation of the Police Order, 2002, which is being resisted for reasons that are required to be explained and justified by the Federation as well as the administration of the Islamabad Capital Territory. It was conceded on behalf of the State that the said statute was enforced after the Local Government system was established in the Islamabad Capital Territory.

“The questions of public importance affecting the fundamental rights of the citizens and required to be adjudicated in the petitions in hand are, inter alia, as follows.- a) The Police Order, 2002 came into force in the Islamabad Capital Territory on the date when the Local Government had assumed office in the said territory, as contemplated under sub section (3) of section 1 ibid. Whether there are justifiable reasons for refusing to implement the provisions of the said statute, the object whereof was to make one of the most important component of the criminal justice system responsive, effective and accountable to the actual stakeholders,” said the IHC bench.

According to the order, in case there are no justifiable reasons for refusing to implement the provisions of the Police Order, 2002, then who is responsible for the delay and whether such person/authorities should be held accountable? c) The factors responsible for lack of functional specialization, operationally distinct investigation cadre, appointment, training and career planning of professional investigation officers? d) Whether the enforced laws in the context of the criminal justice system e.g. the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, Qanoon-e-Shahadat Order, 1984, etc meet the challenges, particularly prevention of miscarriages of justice? e) Whether the State owes a duty of care and if so, whether it becomes liable to compensate a victim who suffers miscarriages of justice because of breach of such a duty? f) Whether the delays in trial of a criminal case or disposal of appeals against conviction would give a cause of action to the person who suffers miscarriages of justice, for seeking damages?

It added that keeping in view the public importance of the questions raised in these petitions and the irreversible loss and suffering caused due to the present dysfunctional criminal justice system, this Court appoints the following amici for assistance including DrShoaibSuddle, former Ombudsman, Federal Tax Ombudsman and Inspector General of Police, Kamal-ud-Din Tipu, former Inspector General of Police, Superintendent, Central Prison, Rawalpindi and Director General, National Police Bureau. The IHC Chief Justice said, “The above amici are expected to submit a joint report/opinion regarding the questions raised in these petitions.”

After issuing the aforementioned directions, the IHC bench deferred hearing in this matter till May 14 for further proceedings.