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Detention of Relatives of Accused by Police (Lawlessness by the Law Enforcers)

Mahmood Ahmed Shaikh

Pakistan, including number of other countries that follow the British colonial
criminal justice system, police misuses its discretionary powers of detention. It
becomes serious violation of law when relatives of an absent accused are detained by
police in order to compel the accused to surrender. Literature review indicates
viewpoints of certain criminologists and scholars on Islamic, International and
Constitutional fundamental rights of liberty and freedom of people and immunity from
arbitrary detention. It compares these rights with existing Pakistani legislation on
arrest and detention with special reference to relatives of an accused who are detained
to ensure arrest of a blamed person. This paper argues that the discretionary powers of
police to detain any person in doubt, especially the relatives of an accused, are abinitio illegal that create unrest and annoyance among people. The main findings reveal
that citizens are harassed and detained by police (on the basis of doubt) and on the
directions of politicians and local influential ones under these discretionary powers. It
paves way for bribery, corruption and misbehavior by police department. The analysis
concludes that powers of detention, arrest and investigation given to police in Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1898 (CrPC) are not in line with newly enforced Police Order
2002. There is a need to make amendments in CrPC for harmony in both the Laws and
to improve the existing criminal investigation system of police.

Keyword: Relatives of accused, detention, doubt, police, discretionary powers,