Crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - HASHIM ABRO

Un­for­tu­nately, we have tra­di­tion­ally weak and cor­rupt in­sti­tu­tions and our crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem is based on ev­i­dence and what hap­pens with ev­i­dences in a cor­rupt so­ci­ety like ours needs no de­scrip­tion. At present, our crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem clearly faces crit­i­cal chal­lenges. Be­cause of lengthy de­lays in crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings on one pre­text or an­other, I have seen many de­fen­dants lan­guish in jails for months or years with­out a sen­tence.

Once a sus­pect has been iden­ti­fied, how­ever, a guilty ver­dict is highly likely, par­tic­u­larly when a sus­pect is poor, he has no money to en­gage an ex­pe­ri­enced lawyer and the crime is petty. In­deed, al­though the prob­a­bil­ity of be­ing ar­rested, in­ves­ti­gated, and pros­e­cuted for a crime is ex­tremely low. Rea­sons are ob­vi­ous and known but the rulers are not in a mood to re­form the sys­tem.

Be­ing a hum­ble stu­dent of law and po­lit­i­cal science, I al­ways de­sire to see sweep­ing changes in our crim­i­nal pro­ce­dure, greater due process pro­tec­tions and new roles for ju­di­cial sys­tem op­er­a­tors, and tougher mea­sures against or­ga­nized crime, in­clud­ing money laun­der­ing, arms smug­gling, kid­nap­ping, bank rob­bery, and other forms of or­ga­nized crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity. In face of these chal­lenges, our crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem has ex­hib­ited sig­nif­i­cant dys­func­tions, con­tribut­ing to ex­traor­di­nar­ily high lev­els of crim­i­nal im­punity but who cares in this cor­rup­tion and crime-rid­den so­ci­ety.

Re­gret­tably, noth­ing is be­ing done to re­forms crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem to over­come its cur­rent chal­lenges and de­velop a bet­ter crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. Is there any­one to sen­si­tize our rul­ing elite to do jus­tice with the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem in vogue in this coun­try? Is there any­one to ask our rulers to re­cruit peo­ple of pas­sion and in­tegrity and pro­vide them all nec­es­sary re­sources es­pe­cially skilled man­power, mo­bil­ity and funds for ef­fec­tive ser­vice de­liv­ery in this bud­get? —Is­lam­abad

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