The role of investigation and prosecution in Pakistan


By Rana Bakhtiar

It is saying of Hazrat Ali AS that:

 “The societies can remain infidel but not in injustice”. 

The investigation and public prosecution play a key role in the criminal justice system of a country. In United State of America the director of prosecution office may be known by any of several names from state to state like Attorney General District Attorney and United State Attorney etc. which are appointed by President directly and confirmed by Senate. By this procedure it can easily be understood, the importance of law officers and prosecutors in government who are responsible to provide justice to aggrieved parties.

On the other hand the procedure for recruiting the law officers in higher courts and prosecutors in special courts is different in Pakistan. The recruitment, in anti-Terrorism and NAB courts should be strictly on merit. In these courts the cases of terrorists and money launderers, who abuse the authority and plunder the national treasury with both hands respectively, are adjudicated and prosecuted.

In last days the new Government of PTI recruited the law officers in the offices of Attorney General for Pakistan and Advocate General Punjab. The credibility of Mr Imran Khan himself cannot be challenged and no doubt he himself is a great follower of competency and merit but his team, ministers, party leadership got their shares in law officer’s recruitment. They promoted nepotism, favouritism ignoring the competence of candidates. It is important to mention here if proper assistance would not be extended to the courts, resultantly, the terrorists, money launderers and authority abusers will get certificates of acquittal from the courts like Former President Mr Asif Ali Zardari, Mr Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain Safdar. Then the media also will make fun of the investigating, prosecuting agencies with present government. The decisions of honourable courts to be discussed in evening shows held at TVs, nationally and internationally. 

A prosecutor should have advocacy skills and an analytic mind. Furthermore he should also have sense of justice, integrity and full command on how to prepare and present his case before the court.

An efficient prosecutor excludes any notions of winning or losing a case – his role is not simply one of crime control. His role is to seek and achieve justice, and not merely to convict. The role is to be discharged with an ingrained sense of dignity and integrity. If any prosecutor or law officer confesses or concedes regarding lack of evidence in any case before the court then his honesty and integrity is doubted and challenged in Pakistan, where as in civilised countries, the prosecutor has full authority to charge or discharge the culprits after perusing the investigation file and he is not doubted by his high ups or by the society.

Similarly the role of investigating agencies is very important, unfortunately, the Investigating officers have no grip on modern techniques of investigation for the reason of their low level of education and training. For this reason they do not get the latest court case laws and opinions and neither do public prosecutors think to guide them at the time of physical remand of culprits. It is the core duty of a prosecutor attached with the courts having powers to grant the physical remand to bandits, to peruse the file minutely and scrutinise the faults before producing it to presiding officers.

The investigating officers should approach each mystery with a blank mind. He should start investigation with the theory that everyone is guilty and everyone is innocent and never relying on patterns and assuming the outcome with little information. For example, whenever a wife is murdered, the first suspect is always the husband. Such assumptions, though based on justifiable data, can easily lead you to the wrong person.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf has succeeded to establish his government for the second time  in the  province of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa in general election 2018, for the reason of, in addition to other reforms, the most significant changes in the Police and Patwar system. In Punjab, the police are still out of control, in old habit of bribery, immorality and atrocity. The investigations are not being handled properly and supervised in accordance with law. Due to faulty investigations, and careless assistance provided by prosecutors, the courts acquit the bandits then it spreads wrong rumours and scandals against the courts.   The public is unhappy and annoyed in this province. Mr Prime Minister should directly observe as to whether some of his Punjabi party leaders who were interested in Chief Ministership are failing Usman Bazdar as chief minister?

(The write is an advocate Supreme Court and Former Deputy Prosecutor General Punjab.)