Summary trial under NAP a major challenge for govt

Saturday, January 31st, 2015 12:06:22 by

LAHORE: Police action against violators of six ordinances promulgated by the Punjab government under the National Action Plan (NAP) to eliminate sectarianism and terrorism has failed to bear fruits at initial stage as all suspects formally arrested and booked in cases since Jan 9 have secured bails from courts who have set aside summary trials for speedy convictions because of certain hiccups.

The lack of coordination and little realization of the importance of summary trials by police, prosecution and courts are said to be major factors behind the poor implementation of the National Action Plan.

Take a look: 329 people arrested under NAP

The summary trial with up to six-month jail is aimed at conviction of suspects within a day or two by producing evidence and witnesses. The ST also requires courts to convict or acquit the suspects within a day or two.

All offenders held under six ordinances get bails

Police across the province have arrested and booked thousands of people in connection with the Punjab Prohibition of Expressing Matters on Walls Act 2015, Punjab Sound Systems Regulation Ordinance 2015, Punjab Information of Temporary Residents Ordinance 2015, Punjab Arms Amendment Ordinance 2015, and Punjab Security of Vulnerable Establishment Ordinance 2015 since Jan 9.

Official statistics of Lahore police show that more than 1,500 people have so far been arrested and booked in cases since Jan 9.

Informed police sources told Dawn on Friday that the efforts had been initiated through meetings of Criminal Justice Coordination Committees exiting in all districts to take joint decision by stakeholders.

They said the crux of so far CJCC meetings chaired by district and sessions judges across the province was that judicial officers were not used to hold summary trials of suspects as they were not taken in loop by the government over NAP working.

Sources further said increasing pressure by legal fraternity to seek bails of suspects was another contributing factor that summary trials are not welcomed by district judiciary.

Sources said provincial police authorities had directed all field police officers to take up the sensitivity and sanctity of the NAP plan for better coordination among police, prosecution and judiciary.

They said three major suggestions, also discussed with the judiciary to speed up summary trial, were under consideration.

One such suggestion is to bring six ordinances out of the legal ambit of Code of Criminal Procedure like Control of Narcotic Substance Act 1197 which works independently during legal proceedings. Another suggestion is that the court must serve 24-hour notice to police before granting bail which will put the suspect in jail at least for a day. The third suggestion is that police must produce witnesses and submit challans for summary trial within a day for speeding conviction.54cc3220c17b9

Lahore News Sources

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