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Wednesday April 17, 2024

High acquittal rate in cases of robberies a cause of concern

By Arshad Dogar
October 21, 2022

LAHORE:Blame game between investigations wing and prosecution department under the garb of tall claims for reforms have left citizens on the mercy of robbers, dacoits and thieves as the criminals are being exonerated due to poor investigations.

The criminals who are released from jails become more lethal and commit more crimes with impunity. Weak investigations lacking proper collection of evidences help criminals in the courts in getting bails and further acquittal. The criminals start committing crimes again rather become a big threat for complainants as there is no mechanism to protect witnesses and complainants.

It is alarming to note here that the conviction rate of robberies & dacoities was less than 6 % in overall Punjab in 2020 due to which incidents of crime against property have been increasing manifold day by day especially in urban areas.A senior police officer said that criminals are arrested by police but are released by courts in short span of time either due to weak evidence or because the witnesses or complainant resile.

He added these released offenders keep repeating the same crimes with more confidence. He suggested that Police and prosecution will have to improve the quality of investigation and prosecution respectively to get these repeat criminals convicted. Moreover, a comprehensive mechanism needs to be adopted to revamp the whole criminal justice system. Senior advocate of Lahore High Court Imran Arif Ranjha talking to The News said that on the first step police lack proper training and resources to collect evidences timely. He added police facilitates criminals by not recovering case property. He added if an investigating officer presents the case to the prosecution department with flawless investigations, the chances of acquittal become zero.

SSP Legal Ghulam Hussain Chauhan said that criminal justice system needs a comprehensive overhauling. He added police and prosecution department are overloaded with cases, which is the major factor behind poor investigation and prosecution. To a question, he said we need to stick to our values to curb crimes and criminals.