Sindh Police ‘hiding’ crime data from courts

KARACHI, Jul 3, 2016: The same way street criminals in Karachi deprive the citizens of their valuables, the Sindh police continues to deprive the Sindh High Court (SHC) of crime statistics.

According to a judicial officer, the police authorities are not on the same page with the judiciary in order to curb crimes across the province, particularly the city of Karachi.

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One officer said that the SHC has been urging the police for a long time to start sharing every day details of crimes being reported all over the province. However, high-ranking police officers have yet to respond.

An officer explained that SHC had launched an online Case-Flow Management System (CFMS) that enables most of the government departments to upload and share the data of matters involving litigations with the high court online.

Similarly, it gives the police force access to the website to upload the data from FIRs being registered at every police station in every district.

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The SHC had launched its first-ever Case Flow Management System (CFMS) in 2011 under the then provincial chief justice Mushir Alam’s vision for quick disposal of litigations by ensuring better coordination among the departments.

The idea was to connect the judiciary with all other institutions, departments and agencies operating under the federal, provincial and local authorities to remove ‘traditional bureaucratic’ delays in the execution of judicial orders, he said.

“The project was initiated at the time when Karachi was facing its worst law and order situation,” said an officer, referring to the era when the port city witnessed worst criminal, ethnic and sectarian violence.

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While initiating suo moto proceedings relating to violence in Karachi the Supreme Court (SC) passed various orders and directives to deal with the criminal elements, including regular monitoring of the performance of the police and the Rangers.

Justice Mushir, who was assigned to conduct review meetings with the heads of the law enforcement agencies every month, tried to connect the police with the judiciary online to ensure better coordination and monitoring.

“The SHC’s information technology department has made requests to the police authorities on different occasions, asking them to start uploading the statistics regarding registration of crimes and disposal of the public complaints at the high court’s portal,” an official recalled.

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“But every time the police high-ups nicely promise to start doing the same but haven’t taken any practical step so far,” the official added.

“The only reason is that once they start sharing data they will have to be answerable for every case registered by them,” added the official privy to the meetings held in the past at the high court.

For their part, the police said that they are lacking resources.

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“We do not have enough computers at every police station,” said City Division SP Shahla Qureshi. “We don’t even have enough literate people who can deal with computers,” she pointed out.

“Once a police online FIRs system was launched but it was badly affected due to the frequent transfer postings of cops, particularly those who were trained to operate computers for the online FIRs system,” she recalled. “We need professionals who can operate computers at police stations.”

She also pointed out that the police submit the FIRs in court within 14 days after typing it in the ‘inpage’ format. It is then automatically recorded into the court’s online system.

Internews

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