Law draft on police arrest powers finalised
ISLAMABAD: The Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan has finalised draft legislation to curtail police powers to make random arrests without warrants or orders from magistrates.
“The commission has suggested various amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 to reduce the vast discretionary powers of the police to arrest people in order to prevent the harassment of citizens,” a commission official told Daily Times.
He said the draft would be presented in the next meeting of the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan for formal approval.
“Presently, the police enjoys discretionary powers to arrest any citizen of Pakistan, particular in cases of drug trafficking, liquor and street brawls. These powers are often abused, resulting in the arrest and detention of innocent citizens, depriving them of their fundamental rights to personal liberty, dignity and security,” he said.
The new law will make it mandatory for the police to have an arrest warrant or prior permission from a magistrate in many offences where random raids or arrests are permissible under the existing rules. Separately, a new draft law has been finalised which suggests a limit on the value of dowries and bridal gifts. Under the new law, a list of dowry items must be provided to the Nikah Registrar for filing with the local nazim’s office.
The law, titled ‘Prohibiting Excessive Expenditure on Dowry’, is meant to ensure that poor and lower middle class families are able to marry off their children without crippling themselves financially.
In addition, the commission will also introduce legislation against the activities of qabza groups. The commission will prescribe stringent laws for the illegal occupiers of land. Commission sources claimed that the draft laws have been finalised in response to public requests, particularly in cases of police harassment.