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October 9, 2020

Lahore CCPO recommends court martial of cops

National

October 9, 2020

LAHORE: Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore Umar Sheikh has recommended court martial of cops on the pattern of the armed forces deeming the prevailing rules of Police Department not effective enough to prevent frequent misconducts.

The CCPO wants to bring about reforms in the police system, ensure meritocracy, strict accountability and best service delivery to the citizens and truly make police servant of the people.

Lahore Police Chief Muhammad Omar Sheikh said that the purpose of introducing police court martial was to ensure that no officer could be reinstated dismissed due to negligence. The court martial-style amendments to the existing laws are a matter of urgency for the provision and transparency in the system, he said, adding that strict accountability is needed for the policing of police. As long as the most severe punishments are not given to the corrupt and immoral officials and the officers and officers who have exceeded the authority cannot be sent home, the police cannot be subordinated to the public in the true sense of the word. And so far strict action has been taken against 12 officials for distorting facts/evidence.

The CCPO in his letter written to IG Punjab titled: Police Court Martial under article 8(3) of Constitution” on Thursday states, "It is submitted that the prevailing disciplinary rules of Police Department do not cater the frequent misconducts committed by the police officers, bringing bad name to the department as well as severely hampering the control over law and order situation/curbing crime in the province, including capital city Lahore. It is high time to review disciplinary rules applicable on Police Department, rather to devise new accountability regime to ensure service delivery to the general public as well as better policing in the province.

"In 2015, action was taken against 57,318 officers/officials; in 2016 against 61,422, in 2017 against 92,521; in 2018 against 82,170 and in 2019 against 61,573. Despite the fact that every year 25 to 30 per cent of the force is being made accountable, no visible improvement in the attitude and conduct has been observed and general public, media, NGOs are persistently complaining about the misconduct of police. Similarly, the misconduct of ministerial staff particularly by accounts branch is being reported in the form of embezzlement of funds in various field /units of the Police Department... Absence of such laws for the accountability of police force has greatly hampered the discipline of the police force, leading to a permanent target of human rights activists, NGOs, media, political parties and judiciary... Where, despite of regular departmental enquiries, the offenders given major penalties for their glaring misconducts find relief and re-enter the organisation with all perks and privileges. In view of the above, it is requested that government of Punjab may be moved for new legislation regarding dedicated accountability rules for Police Department including the process of court martial as available in Pakistan Army so that police officers accountability/discipline may be ensured in the interest of general public.”