Police to reform accountability mechanism

Oct 30, 2019

LAHORE: The Punjab Police have decided to reform rules and regulations governing the internal accountability mechanism.

A proposal has been forwarded to the Punjab Home Department to be tabled before the Punjab Government for approval, Additional Inspector General of Punjab Police Inam Ghani shared with The Express Tribune in an exclusive chit chat.

He added that the Inspector General of Punjab Police Captain (retd) Arif Nawaz in a meeting had also requested the Punjab chief minister of to expedite the process.

Ghani continued that Punjab Police was a disciplined and uniformed force that needs to maintain its hierarchy for efficiency. At the same time, public dealing was one of their prime responsibilities.

Thirdly, despite being a disciplined, uniformed force, they were treated as civil servants according to law.

When it comes to the accountability process, the officials enjoyed multiple forums for appeal just like other civil servants. For example, a member of the force punished by a District Police Officer (DPO) can appeal against the punishment before Regional Police Officer (RPO), Inspector General of Police (IGP), Federal Service Tribunal (FST), High Court (HC) and Supreme Court.

Using so many forums, the penalised officer, managed to get relief.

In the Pakistan Army, the member of force was punished through a court martial and had very few forums of appeal as compared to the police.

Another aspect regarding Punjab Police accountability mechanism was that it needed a complainant in most of the cases of irregularities. They needed such a complainant who would consistently appear at all these forums to take the process to a logical end.

In the proposal presented before the Home Department, they had tried to minimise the appellate forum to a reasonable and suitable level, he added.

Secondly, Punjab Police had laid out a well-defined policy in dealing with various forms of violations and irregularities by the employees of the force.

The Internal Accountability Branch Punjab Police (I&AB) was headed by an officer of additional IG (grade 21) rank office. An SP rank officer at least headed in districts.

The I&AB head will take suo moto in three serious offences torture, death in custody, illegal detention or confinement in which public directly was the aggrieved party.

Besides, they had going to insert a checklist of “blacklisted” in their Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS). The HRMIS is a centralised computerised system to maintain a record for posting, performance, personal and other details of the organisations’ human resource.

Any officer who had been found guilty for these three offences (torture, death in custody and illegal confinement) will be blacklisted that meant that he will not be allowed any future field posting. If the blacklisted official was given the posting, it would pop-up in their HRMIS that was all the time was connected and being observed at the different forum including the IGP.

Lastly, they had introduced a discipline matrix to ensure certainty and define the quantum of punishment.

Ghani said earlier the discretion of the commander or investigation officer rules the process of awarding punishments.

An official sometimes was given too harsh a punishment for a minor irregularity. In other cases, he would escape after a minor punishment was awarded to him for a serious offence.

Who was awarded serious punishment for a minor irregularity would plead that the punishment was undue that seemed quite logical.