Ombudsman presents reports of prison, police to CJP

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ISLAMABAD, May 31 (APP): Wafaqi Mohtasib Salman Faruqui on Tuesday called on Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Anwar Zaheer Jamali and presented reports on prison, police stations and pension issues compiled by the Federal Ombudsman under the directives of Supreme Court.

According to sources in Ombudsman Secretariat, the Federal
Ombudsman presented three reports on systemic issues of different agencies. Three separate committees, to study and identify maladministration and systemic failures in respect of our police stations, prisons and pension system, were constituted earlier by the Federal Ombudsman.

The committees on police stations and prisons reforms were set up on the directives of the Supreme Court.

In pursuance of the directive, the Federal Ombudsman
constituted a 27-member committee headed by Senator S. M. Zafar, former Federal Minister for Law and Justice, to examine the issue.

The report dilated on conditions prevailing in prisons in different parts of the country and recommended measures ranging from health to living conditions and food served to the prisoners to the behavior of jail staff.

The Jail Refporms Committee proposed that new jails should be established as prisoners housed in jails were more than their capacity.

The committee also proposed to set up a new jail in the
Federal Capital.

It expressed reservations over health facilities in jails and
suggested that doctors and other paramedical staff should be appointed to look after the prisoners.

The committee also proposed to set up separate cells in the
jails for children and women. It proposed to separate
prisoners indicted in minor crimes from the hard core ones.
The committee’s recommendations in line with the jail
manuals and standards of civilized societies will bring improvement when implemented.

The Committee on Police Stations Reform examined the
underlying issues and made recommendations to curb mal-administration in police stations across the country. The committee was headed by former federal secretary and inspector general of police Abbas Khan.

Some of the important recommendations of the committee
relate to cognizable offences, restoration of the institution of
executive magistracy, setting up of complaint authority in every district to prevent abuse of authority in police stations.
The committee also recommended setting up Forensic Service Agency in provinces and specialized investigation centers at district level for improvement in the investigation process.

The committee accorded due priority to training of police in
different specialized areas. The objective of the exercise is to
make our police stations citizen friendly.

The committee proposed upgradation of all police stations in
Federal Capital as a pilot project.

The committee suggested that First Information Report system was old and lengthy and it should be improved. The committee also proposed monitoring of police stations to eradicate corruption.

The other important issue of which the Federal Ombudsman took notice on his own motion, was the painful delay in the disbursement of pensions which was causing considerable misery to the most vulnerable and helpless segment of the population.

The Ombudsman constituted a committee under the chairmanship of  the former Auditor General Pakistan Tanvir Ali Agha to examine pension system of the federal government and come up with a workable solution
for ensuring timely payment of pension to the senior citizens.

The committee after detailed celebrations, identified the
magnitude of the problem, its nature and possible solutions in consultation with a broad spectrum of stakeholders for ensuring timely payment of pensions. The committee has made recommendations that are practical and easily implementable. The committee suggested that Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue should be directed to
complete process and documentation in pension case of employees before one month retirement.

Salman Faruqui also briefed the CJP about the future roadmap of the institution by establishing setup at district levels to provide relief to the people.

The Chief Justice appreciated the efforts of the Federal
Ombudsman for compiling extensive and organized reports highlighting issues and extending suggestions for their solution. He hoped that the Federal Ombudsman would be working with same zeal for the betterment of the country. He also assured of support to the institution of Federal Ombudsman for redressal of the grievances of general public.