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February 14, 2015

Surveillance of released accused proposed


February 14, 2015

LAHORE Police have recommended to the Punjab government certain amendments to related laws for close surveillance of accused released from jails to stop them from criminal activities.
Currently, over 15,000 such accused persons, having record of dozens of criminal cases, were looming freely in the society as there is no proper mechanism to keep a check on them.
DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf has written a letter to the CCPO Lahore, Amin Wains, to get the amendments to the law approved through proper channel. The letter, copy of which is available with The News, reads: ‘The study of prevalent laws, dealing with persons released from jails reveals that a specific mechanism to make penal regime more stringent for accused (especially involved in heinous crime) needs to be devised’. It was written in the letter that at present the penal mechanism is defective and lacks the venom required to control repeat offenders. At present, police keep such persons, who are released from jails on acquittal/completing their period of sentence/on bail/on parole, under surveillance through Register No 10 of the police station. The local police only initiate action u/s 55/109 & 55/110 CrPC and keep the surveillance of released accused persons as per requirement of above said register. The DIG Operations has recommended some suggestions regarding surveillance of the released accused persons from jails for inclusion in the legislation. He has suggested that after release from jails, two surety bonds may be obtained from the accused persons on the pattern of forth-schedule of the ATA. Two notables of the locality should give surety that the accused will not further involve himself in criminal activities.
The surety bonds can be obtained for a period of three years and after expiry of time, surety bonds should be re-obtained depending upon police report. Failure to submit surety bonds within stipulated time should be made cognizable, the DIG recommended. After

release from jail, accused persons should be made bound to report in the police station concerned on weekly basis and officer incharge should make necessary entry in the relevant register.
The jail authorities should conduct DNA profiling of each and every criminal at the admission in jail/confinement period/time of release along with finger printing. This data should be preserved for future comparisons. Non-appearance in police station/disappearance from area without prior information should be made cognizable offence. The released persons should report to the police station if they move out of home police station. In case of movement, home police station should be bound to report to the destination police station of released persons.
The letter concludes: ‘In view of the above facts and circumstances, it would be appropriate, if a move is made to the Govt. of Punjab (Law Department) for making legislation and inclusion of the above recommendations for better surveillance of the accused persons released from jails in the public interest’.
It is worth mentioning here that presently the following laws exist in field for surveillance of the accused person but these laws do not cater the need. Section 55 CrPC arrest of vagabonds, habitual robbers etc; Section 106-CrPC Security for keeping the pace on conviction; Section 107- CrPC Security for keeping the peace in other cases; Section 108- CrPC; Security for good behaviour from persons disseminating seditious matter; section 109- CrPC; security for good behaviour from vagrant and suspected persons; section 110-CrPC; security for good behaviour from habitual offenders; section 563-CrPC; provision in case of offenders
failing to observe conditions of his recognizance; section 564 CrPC conditions as to abode of offender; section 565 CrPC order for notifying address of previously convicted offenders; restriction of habitual offenders (Punjab Act, 1918) There are also few provisions of police rules regarding the surveillance of released accused persons. PR 23.4. Surveillance Register No 10; PR 23.33; convicts released before expiration of sentence under Prison Act and remission rules; PR 23.34. convicts conditionally released u/s 401 Criminal Procedure Code; PR 2338 surveillance over released prisoners; PR 2340 control of professional criminals and PR 27.19 record of convictions.

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