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Police system N r4mc - Syd Zulfiqar
By web aNtu

1/1/2000 9:52 am Sat

Webmaster's Comments:

I have a few friends in DBKL, KDN N police depts. Some of these guys have PCs at home, which have multimedia capability - which - off course - can play pirated N original VCD. However one of my policeman friend does not have a PC but he do have a VHS video player- (he could not afford a PC becos his salary is too small). These guys have a few things in common - they have huge collection of pirated or uncensored VCDs or VHS tapes. I ask each one of them how much they pay for all those stuff - They simply replied "Free...".

"Rather than burn or destroy them all - why don't take some N burn some? " my DBKL guy told me.

"Are they from Petaling Street?" I asked him. At first he refused to answer, but a smile in his face conveys a signal I should have understood. He then told me - "The raids at pasar malam and all over the towkey place brought tons of VCDS - which are being songlap/hared among DBKL people..."

As for my KDN friend, he have one government PC next to his desk with a VCD movie player software installed. He enjoyed watching the free movies not only at his office but at home as well ):-.

I asked the same question to my policeman friend - he refused to give a location. However, in my experience u can find a lot of police stations situated not far from VCD rental/sellers stores..... A single visit by these policemen might end up with some thing inside their pockets because it seems that these stores remain open N "healthy" at all time N raids at these places are seldom heard off.... ):-


Police system awaits radical changes
Syed Zulfiqar Hameed

Our police system awaits radical steps for its reformation and visible improvement as a first step towards reviving its confidence in ma#ses at large. While in fact we need an overall change in its set-up, its built-in self-styled culture, training and working. It is time to ensure that our police personnel become a true public servants. There seems no harm in bifurcation of its various functions directly controlled and supervised by the deadly honest, educated and sincere people drawn from various segments of our society by election, selection or under any system but on merit alone for a tenure not exceeding two years. Such supervisors may have the right to be re- elected, re-selected, re-appointed after relaxing for one tenure. They should also be subjected to ruthless accountability if they are found involved in corruption, nepotism, favouritism, misuse of authority and or in evil patronisation.

Generally there are two major complaints against our police: (i) Corruption and misuse of authority; and (ii) Inefficiency. Rest of complaints are off-shoots of the above which are due to deeper involvement of our police in politics, which as a matter of fact, relates to those who misused this department for their personal gains. Corruption and misuse of authority have a common pedestal. The evils like corruption and misuse of authority appear to be the brainchild of unwarranted concentration of powers in police officials. They derive these powers from various provisions of the law governing the detection and prevention of crime.

Still major fault stems from procedures rather than penal law. For example, (a) Section 157 CrPC read with 25:9 of Police Rules empowers a police officer to abstain from investigation if he deems fit under certain conditions. This power of optional investigation in no way is in accord with requirements of a civilised society and seems to be an open encroachment over rights of a free citizen who requisites the services of police functionaries. On the other hand, Section 187 of PPC provides for omission to a#sist as public servant, when bound by law to give a#sistance. This anomaly needs to be rectified to make it in line with the rights and duties of the citizen.

Similarly, law empowering a police officer to summon any concerned person under a written order to join an investigation needs due attention. These are the most abused powers under which scores of people are kept waiting outside camp offices in rural areas or police stations in urban and semi-urban areas inflicting mental torture upon them. In fact it is the power which prompts the law-abiding citizens not to cooperate with the police and become a volunteer witness. These "shamil-i-tafteesh" people are at time forced to become a source of generating illegal income for the police.

Hence it will be more appropriate to bind a police officer to visit himself/herself such people at their places with the exception when there arises an actual need to detain any such person. At the same time it must be ensured that rules providing noting down of the arrival/departure times of such summoned persons are implemented in the letter and spirit by the police.

The criminal procedures code provides that no police officer should detain in his custody, a person arrested without warrant for a period detain in his custody, a person arrested without warrant for a period longer than 24 hours exclusive of the time necessary for journey from the place of arrest to the court of a magistrate. Under present circumstances, specially when means of communication/transport are effective and easily available, this period of 24 hours carries no justification. It will be more appropriate to restrict the police officer to produce the arrested person immediately (within one or two hours) to get a remand from a magistrate, who can be made available by adjusting the shifts even in late hours.

Similarly some of its sections read with police rules empowers a police officer to release a person on bail. These sections were introduced with apparent intention of saving an arrested person from undue detention, but are now being misused to mint money for the police. It is required that these powers are now transferred to a court to minimise corruption in the police Department. Likewise, Section 54 CrPc empowers a police officer to arrest any person without warrant in different circumstances which also includes a reasonable suspicion. Such vast powers of arrest and later detention for 24 hours in police custody is the most deterrent police power. It is often misused without reasonable requirements and forms a source of illegal income for the police.

These were only a few examples where a police officer in his individual capacity or under the influence of some other person can misuse his authority and escape the grip of law. It becomes more risky when the ineffectiveness of our anti-corruption set-up is already well proved. There appears to be visible shortcomings in its act. It must be noted that the hardcore of the Anti-Corruption Department still comes from police service who usually favours their colleagues and makes safe pa#sage for their release.

Next comes the police inefficiency. Its performance and efficiency have been under fire since long. Various experiments carried out at times to improve police efficiency for crime detection, maintenance of peace and respect for the law have failed. It seems as if its remedy lies in complete change in basic concept of the Police Department. The much- propagated excuse as given by the police officials is the low income, which has no justification at all. To be true, excluding the armed forces, police officials are the best paid employees in their respective cadres. Since independence, the pay of the policemen have increased many times. This is why the competition for recruitment in police ranks is the highest.

A few causes of police inefficiency are narrated as under:

(a) A general trend to defy rules and regulations by police officials, either due to lack of knowledge or under ill motives have developed in the department. The rules governing police working are best even today as it cover almost all aspects of life. However, the completion of record is now considered a burden on police officer who evades this responsibility by leaving it to his subordinates.

The system of record building at police station, district and crime branch level, introduced by police rules was the best possible for fighting out the crime provided it was adopted fully under strict supervision of senior police officials in the true sense. It is a matter of concern that only a very small faction of young officers can claim having full command over rules and regulations.

(b) The recruitment of upper subordinates, who are backbone of the department, is now mainly done on political basis. Often deserving candidates are neglected for the simple reason that police have to accommodate others having political backing. There are no hard and fast rules for making appropriate selection and a centralised system of police recruitment is absent altogether. Since the holding of recruitment test has become a very formal exercise, little attention is paid to raise its standard. Resultantly those selected are least bothered about the profession or moral values.

On the other hand, the induction of senior police officials, for example ASPs, is made on the basis of the examination conducted by the Federal Public Service Commission. As the FPSC conducts a single examination for entry in all superior services, its standard is sufficiently high. However, it is not designed to judge the qualities of a candidate to become a prospective police officer. The result is that thin, lean and scholarly lot is being inducted in the police department every year. This lot may be suitable for professorship or research scholars but in no way can face realities in police career. Resultantly either they become frustrated and absorb themselves in other non-police organisations or continue half-heatedly in the police department having no command on job. It is one of the main causes which encourages their subordinates to be out of control.

The method of induction in the police service as introduced by successive martial law regimes by direct induction from serving military officers has also proved to be unsatisfactory. It caused heart- burn among serving police officers while it discouraged the new entrants to adjust themselves in a civilian set-up. This resulted in decline of the professional ability and increased corruption in police among its frustrated employees.

(c) During the past few decades the grade-hungry police officials through their repeated efforts have made the promotion very rapid for fresh entrants. Result is that only a few grey-headed officers are seen tackling the very important positions like that of SP or DIG. A young officer is promoted to higher ranks before he achieves real experience of the post already occupied or gaining the emotional maturity necessary for the next higher rank. As a matter of fact, the practice of holding a single competitive examination by the FPSC has induced a sense of jealously among different services and the police officers also desire to have what others already have, without sensing the consequences.

Similarly disparity among provincial and PSP cadre officers also appears to be a cause of resentment specially among the provincial cadre officers. It has ultimately affected the efficiency and working of the Police Department as the PSP cadre appears to have an edge over the provincial officers in promotion.

(d) Rapid promotion in gazetted rank of the Police Department especially among direct police officers have created a large number of high-ranking police officers who either do not find corresponding number of posts within the department or the jobs offered to them do not suit their taste. Result is that either they are sent to other set- ups in non-police organisations by the department or under their own efforts they find such appointments. Such officers fail to earn real experience of police working but do share the promotion in police, when due. It seems to be a sheer wastage of talent and is also a major cause of inefficiency in the Police Department. Such officers when posted to higher ranks, yield nothing as they have gained nothing in the profession. They remain strangers in their own set-up, not to speak of the set-up where they go on deputation.

(e) Our crime investigation set-up comprises of provincial police and the federal investigation agencies. Its major responsibility, in any case, rests with the provincial police as it acts in the capacity of crime-preventing agency. With such a vital responsibility, the organisation has no competition in the professional field at all (though under some legal provisions, in only a few cases some other persons can be empowered by the court for this purpose). The experiment of having private detective investigation agencies (may be with limited role) can induce a challenge and competition for police. ' (f) There seems some inborn aversion among police officers against any type of check over them. Not to speak of such a check by the public representatives, at times officers have been found bitter against such control by their fellow bureaucrats of other services. A DIG is too busy to have a proper check on the working of the SP sitting at a distance of hundred miles and the same about the working of DSPs and SHOs.

Result is that reports initiated from Police Station level right up to District and Range level, never present a true picture of the situation. An effective Magistracy or a powerful Citizens Committee representing all walks of life can be the only effective tool for keeping a check over various Police tiers.



(a) Extra vast powers of the Police officers specially concerning the arrest, detention and bail must be cut to size by bringing in appropriate amendments, in Cr. PC and other laws.

(b) Certain aspects of Act-II of 1947 and section 161 of PPC be broadened to ensure that no police official betrays the spirit of law.

(C) Government Servants E&D Rules 1973, may be suitably amended to have an appropriate check on Police especially relating to negligence/Omissions/Corruption and those causing public nuisance.

(d) Inspection Teams comprising Police officers, local representatives, senior journalists and retired officers be given powers to supervise the output of the police officials/Police Station etc.

(e) All Police officials be ensured to observe rules/regulations etc strictly. In case of willful negligence a strict action be taken against them immediately.

(f) The establishment of Private Investigation/Detective agencies be encouraged. Their limits of activity may however, be defined/specified clearly in rules to be framed for this objective. They may also be given some legal immunity while working for their objectives in good faith.


(A) All selections in Police department must be made on merit. A Central Recruitment Board for selection of its Upper Subordinates be established to ensure uniform standard of fresh recruitment in all provinces.

(B) The selection of Upper-subordinates be made on basis of examinations conducted by the Central Recruitment Board and it should be comprised of written, Oral, Psychological and Physical tests.

(C) The Federal Public Service Commission may be advised to split the single CSS examination. It should arrange a separate examination for appointments in Police Service in view of the nature and requirements of the Department/Profession.

(D) The system of making appointments on political basis or through Lateral Entry etc must be banned immediately in Police for ever.

(E) The Police Department may be encouraged to run some Model Schools, on the pattern of Public Schools to select Policemen from within its students for adopting police career in future. Experience can be gained from our Army under which Cadet Schools are already functioning at different places very ably.


(a) The minimum qualifications for entry into highly esteemed Police profession for an upper subordinate is F.A. He undergoes the basic Police training for one year which is too small a period for young recruits. This training period must be enhanced to two or three years and the Police institutions be got affiliated with the nearest Universities so that a qualifying officer gets a Bachelor degree at the end of the course.

(b) The next major training for upper subordinates comes as Upper School Training (six months). If the above proposal is accepted then the period of this training, for officers being promoted as Inspectors be curtailed to 4 months and the trainees be prepared to accept supervisory responsibilities during this period.

(c) Newly promoted DSPs, before they actually hold the charge of their post, be included in training courses designed for ASP's (only schooling part of it). It will help equalise the standard of two cadres and will result in better understanding among the direct and departmental candidates.

(d) All officers due for promotion to the rank of DIG must be bound to qualify the Defence College and Senior Administrative Courses as being run presently.

(e) The training course for direct entrants (ASP's) must by profession- oriented.

(f) Standard of training, specially its law part needs to be enhanced in the case of lower subordinates. Similarly the standard of studies in Forensic Science be enhanced to improve professional skills of the Police officers.

(g) The Psychology subject must be introduced at Intermediate level while its standard be enhanced at higher levels.

(h) All police officials/officers must be trained for the use of technical equipment.


(a) Promotion in each Police rank may be linked with professional/departmental examinations.

(b) The existing rate of promotion for ASP's must be rationalised as it is too rapid. The minimum qualifying service for promotion to SP rank must be fixed at 12 years and officers getting promotion may be required to have completed 80 percent of their service in Police Department. Their period of deputation may be excluded from the qualifying service.

(c) Minimum qualifying service for SSP be fixed at 17 years provided the officer must have completed his last 5 years as SP in the Police department.

(d) Minimum qualifying service for promotion as DIG must be 20 years, with 80 percent service in the Police department.Such an officer must have served the Police set-up as SSP for at least three years.

(e) An Inspector getting promotion as DSP must have completed 80 percent of his total service in Police Department.


(A) Police department is said to be getting top heavy, therefore, number of officers must be reduced to a reasonable extent. However its working strength (lower and upper subordinates) must be raised.

(B) Police staff at Stations and District level may be divided into Detective, Preventive, Management and Public Intensive cadres and strict water-tight compartmentation must be observed in all the four. The Preventive staff be debarred from hold investigations. The Detective Staff must not be allowed to exercise general Police powers. Maintenance of record and the Station House be a#signed to the Management staff while FIR recording, Traffic control and Public relations etc should be dealt by its Public Intensive staff. All the four may have separate uniforms and must be supervised by the dead honest retired public servants though their control should rest with regular Police officers.

(C) The Provincial Special Branches should collect Crime Intelligence only while their role in collection of Political intelligence must be dispensed with immediately.

(D) The Riot Control Police and Task Forces should work under orders of the District Magistrate. For all other purposes there should be a Central Command to run that Force which may be under direct supervision of the Federal Government.

(E) Deployment of Traffic Control staff must be made at Police Station level, where they may work under Station House Officer (Preventive). However, their overall command must rest with the local authority.

(F) The Beat system of Police working must be observed strictly. A preventive Officer and Traffic Control Officer may be made answerable about problems arising his beat.

(G) Summary trial in corruption cases involving a Police Officer is involved must be ensured in the shortest possible time. Public Participation

(a) Public Protection Committees, comprising well reputed educated citizens from all walks of life be set up at all tiers with sufficient powers to supervise the Police working.

(b) For petty offenses and quick disposal of cases a System of Public Courts be introduced comprising senior officers both working and retired residing in the area. These courts must be given sufficient powers to decide ordinary cases at their level in regular evening sittings honorarily taking it as worship and honour.

(c) Police Qaumi Raz###r Organisation and Pakistan Boy Scouts a#sociation (Already operational to some extent) be activated on firm footing.Their well educated dead honest persons, enjoying good reputation be encouraged to a#sist police functionaries in serving the ma#ses. They may be entrusted the sacred duties of watch and ward and local management etc as both can supplement the Police Force without much expenses.

(d) A Monthly Crime Report at Police Station, District, Range and Provincial level be published in the media for the benefit of the common man and for creating a public awareness.