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Sunday May 22, 2022

'Massive amendments to bring revolution in criminal justice system': PM Imran Khan

The government’s reforms in the civil and criminal procedure code will ensure speedy justice, he says

By APP & Web Desk
January 27, 2022
Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing at an event on Criminal Law and Justice Reforms in Islamabad, on January 27, 2021. — RadioPakistan
Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing at an event on Criminal Law and Justice Reforms in Islamabad, on January 27, 2021. — RadioPakistan

ISLAMABAD: The government’s reforms in the civil and criminal procedure code would ensure speedy justice, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday as he termed effective dispensation of justice the state’s responsibility.

Addressing at an event on Criminal Law and Justice Reforms, he said: "Massive amendments will help bring revolution in the criminal justice system and simplify the procedure for the common man in the way to justice."

The prime minister said for the first time, the government was "making changes in the law made in British rule" to bring improvement to the dispensation of justice.

He said no government in the past ever thought about reforming the century-old laws so that they could maintain the status quo and accommodate the elite.

The premier said the civil law reforms were a step towards ensuring the rule of law in the country, that too in line with Islam’s first socio-welfare state of Madinah.

He quoted a hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), emphasising that many earlier nations were destroyed because there were separate laws for the powerful and the weak.

PM Imran Khan said ensuring the rule of law would encourage foreign investors and overseas Pakistanis to invest their money in the country.

Existing legal system 'completely overhauled'

Federal Law Minister Barrister Farogh Naseem, speaking at the occasion, said the Code of Criminal Procedure needed changes and mentioned that the newly-introduced 700 amendments had completely overhauled the existing legal system.

He mentioned that the formation of a statute of an independent prosecution service, forensic laboratory, and prison rules were significant reforms.

Naseem said the law was made for mandatory dispensation of budget to the police station to meet the expenses of investigation, besides deputing sub-inspector at police stations with preferably a bachelor's degree.

He added the trial judge would be answerable before the high courts for not finalising the case within nine months. The court can freeze any documents, including identity cards, bank accounts, etc. of an absconder, he added.

He urged lawyers to support the reform of electronic recording of witnesses, whether in any language, to ensure accuracy and expedition of cases.

In cases of personal offences including murder or rape, the maker of the video will not be made mandatory to appear before the law to render witness as proof of the incident, he said.

The law minister emphasised the implementation of civil law reforms with an effective role of the judiciary, benches prosecutors and investigators.

'Milestone'

Speaking earlier at the event, Parliamentary Secretary Maleeka Bokhari said over 700 amendments made in the criminal procedure code was a milestone of the government and would ensure prompt delivery of justice.

She said for decades, powerful people took advantage of the loopholes in the law, however, the reforms would provide support to the poor seeking justice.