Punjab police had long ago gained fame for disregard to basic human rights and manipulative practices, while registering FIRS. During hearing of bail application of a woman charged in FIR of possessing two kilogram of chars, Chef Justice Lahore High Court Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan passed order for maintaining an authentic daily police diary by all police stations across Punjab. In the instance case two identical FIRs were registered by a police station in Mandi Bahauddin against a woman accused of possessing Chars and her husband within a difference of 10 minutes.
It is out of priorities of elected governments in the past and the present one as well to make legislation about the enactment and enforcement of police reforms in accordance with the contemporary needs in a democracy, notwithstanding lip service galore. Running the police department in Punjab under the Police Act of 1861 is indicative of apathy towards police reforms.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of model police station at Mianwali in Punjab previous month, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed firm resolve to change the brute “Thana Culture” in the province by excluding the role of politicians in the posting and transfer of police officers at different levels. On a number of occasions, the Prime Minister has eulogized the legislations that freed the police in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa from the control of political elite. It remains to be seen as to whether legislation on police reforms is on the table. Last year Police Department in Punjab was tasked to draft recommendations for reforming police but the matter became a bone of contention between them and civil bureaucracy in the province.
The Supreme Court had already given directions in its verdict of January 21, 2019, declaring police as concurrent subject on which both federal and provincial government could legislate. Will PTI government in the center and Punjab take up the directions contained in the apex court verdict for making legislation for police reforms in Punjab?