The outdated investigative practices employed by law enforcement agencies, often referred to as the ‘Thana culture.’ As a fervent advocate for justice, I find it imperative to address the shortcomings in this antiquated system that result in flawed prosecutions, unjust penalties, and the erosion of public confidence.
Within Pakistan, the absence of accountability concerning archaic methods in law enforcement remains a paramount concern. The dependence on coercive methodologies to secure confessions, which are subsequently discredited in court due to their extraction under duress, places the prosecution in an untenable position. This not only compromises the integrity of convictions but also sustains a cycle of injustice.
The genesis of this issue is multifaceted and encompasses factors such as the absence of modernization, rampant corruption, undue political influence, instances of torture, contrived encounters, delays in filing FIRs (First Information Reports), erroneous registrations, and flawed evidence collection post-arrest. To pave the way for a more equitable and effective criminal justice system, it is imperative to accord precedence to the proper enforcement of laws by law enforcement agencies, particularly the police, who serve as the initial responders at crime scenes.
The establishment of a specialized division should be proposed within the police force dedicated to contemporary investigative methodologies. By furnishing this division with comprehensive training and essential resources, we can ensure that investigations are executed diligently and expeditiously, culminating in just outcomes. This approach not only upholds the tenets enshrined in our statutes but also aids in reconstituting the rapport between the general populace and the police, a pivotal mandate delineated in section 3 of police regulations.
The time has come to embark on substantive reforms to rectify the current imperfections within our criminal justice system. By accentuating the significance of sound investigative techniques and fostering accountability within law enforcement agencies, we can foster a society where justice reigns supreme.
Syed Rehman Hayder, Chiniot