Nominating unknown people in FIRs drags cases and gives police a chance to fleece the people
LAHORE – The nomination of unidentified people in first information reports (FIRs) has become a custom that is equally beneficial for police and complainants, as it provides police with a source to mint money from the accused party and allows complainants/witnesses to blackmail their rivals.
The ruling class, feudal lords, politicians and influential figures of the society have boosted the trend to watch their wested interests through the option of nominating their opponents in FIRs.
In almost every FIR, a couple of unknown culprits are being nominated which not only causes un-necessary delay in conclusion of trial but also puts innocent people behind bars.
It is police’s moral duty to determine the get-up, clothes, hair style and physique of the unidentified culprit before registering an FIR under Section 154 of the Pakistan Penal Code but this is not followed.
In 2004, Dr Ahmed lodged a complaint under Section 324/34 of the CrPC at the Shafiqueabad Police Station against seven unidentified people. After 18 days of registering the FIR, the complainant identified his close relative Ihsan, a qualified teacher, as one of the accused. Ihsan was the only accused facing trial until July 15 when the court issued arrest warrants of the complainant for constant absence from the court.
On May 28, an armed man shot dead two real brothers Imran Butt (Mani Butt) and Zeshan Butt (Shani Butt) standing in witness box in the court of an additional district and sessions judge while facing a criminal case registered against them. The entire seen was recorded on a close circuit television (CCTV) installed in the courtroom but the Islampura Police registered a case against Asif Gujar and eight unidentified people. Later, police arrested eight peole, including one female, who were declared innocent after investigation.
Former Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Naveed Innayat Malik said, “Sometimes it actually happens that a complainant cannot identify the culprits on the spot. In this situation, it is the complainant’s moral duty at the time of lodging a complaint to shed light on the exact number of unknown culprits along with their get-ups.
After registering a FIR, police should immediately arrange an identification parade so that the complainant/witness may identify the culprits. The parade should be held in the presence of a magistrate.”
Advocate Rana Nadeem Ahmed said from the courts point of view, the greater the time laps after registration of a FIR, the more investigation the matter requires because during the delay period police and complainant in connivance can manage the material that may be presented against any unidentified culprit even though he may be innocent. Courts ultimately decide cases on the basis of incriminating material and fake material can send any innocent behind bars for a long time.