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Plunged into corruption

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by Dawood Ibrahim, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Dawood Ibrahim

    Dawood Ibrahim SENIOR MEMBER

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    Corruption has been identified as an important factor behind the slow pace of criminal justice administration in Pakistan and several other countries
    [​IMG]

    By: [​IMG]
    Masud Khabeki


    10-Mar-17

    327
    327


    While having the utmost faith and dedication in our legal system, we must face the reality that, our system is in too many respects broken and it’s a national disgrace. From petty bribery to large-scale misappropriation of funds, corruption is widespread throughout the criminal justice process and has serious implications for both human rights and the efficient administration of justice. The circumstantial evidence about corrupt activities is plentiful and corruption is considered as a part of our society. However, it’s as dangerous as any other such as terrorism. Many instances describe the numerous ways in which corruption manifests itself in all parts of the justice system. It occurs in police stations, in preparation of medico-legal reports, investigators’ offices, the judiciary and in prisons. It might be a reason why a person is detained in the first place, but it might also affect their ability to access due process, to access the most basic rights and services in detention, and even their ability to evade harm.

    Corruption is a factor behind excessive imprisonment beyond the period of pre-trial. There are numerous examples where detainees were held beyond their release date because prison officials use the prospect of release as leverage to demand payment for processing the necessary paperwork. It can also hinder access to court hearings and appeal procedures. Detainees may have to pay for transfers from detention to court to be able to attend their court hearings. This can have severe consequences for the due process of law. Undoubtedly, prisons are places with little transparency or public oversight. These places are high risk environments for corrupt practices. In some cases, detainees are actively involved by indulging in corrupt practices. Moreover, some prisons are hub of black market that could become havens for criminal activities. Prisoners cooperate with prison guards to smuggle in contraband items, such as cell phones or drugs, and help a gang culture to thrive — or even dominate — inside prisons. Illegal practices like these have implications broader than certain activities themselves. Their existence and survival depends on dismantling regulations that are meant to ensure the safety and security of all prisoners — as well as the staff, with their replacement with the rule of the most ruthless. It is unsurprising that those not involved in corrupt activities, and individuals who belong to vulnerable groups, are often left defenceless against abuse and exploitation.

    Besides the inherent violations of human rights and the rule of law, corruption has a wider impact on the criminal justice system. Illicit profit making opportunities such as those described above create a strong incentive to maintain the status quo, with the funds needed or even allocated for reform never reaching their destination. Corruption and the violation of human rights of people deprived of their liberty are inextricably interlinked. Ensuring human rights and the rule of law in the criminal justice system requires clamping down on practices that divert the course of justice into a trade — with impunity.

    In this regard, one example can be given. For every investigation which is conducted by micro-level police officers, the government provides a certain amount of funds to the investigating officer to spend it during the course of investigation. Unfortunately, it is rare for any IO to receive the funds, as on paper, the funds are utilisedbut in practice the contrary occurs with embezzled funds eventually reaching the higher hierarchy as a commission.

    This sort of corruption at higher level is the sole cause of corruption at lower levels. For example, in case of vehicle maintenance funds, Station House Officers are usually directed by the seniors to upgrade vehicles without providing any funds to them. In return, SHO’s direct their IO’s to provide money for the purpose and the officer has no other way than to extract it from litigants or ordinary people through excuses. In every case registered at police stations, there is particular price which a complainant has to pay. The price varies for the type of offence with serious ones having a higher rate. At the start of the chain, the police may misuse their power of arrest to extort money. After arrest, bribes may need to be paid to prevent torture. Now here if accused offer more money to the IO then complainant can do nothing about it. Organised crime cells regularly pay the monthly tribute to the concerned SHO which is another source of permanent income for police.

    Corruption has been identified as an important factor behind the slow pace of criminal justice administration in Pakistan and several other countries. A Nigerian Federal High Court Chief Judge once said, “Corruption is the only reason that can explain the snail’s speed at which the administration of criminal justice works”.



    The writer can be reached at malikmasud@hotmail.com


    http://dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/10-Mar-17/plunged-into-corruption
     
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  2. Dawood Ibrahim

    Dawood Ibrahim SENIOR MEMBER

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    Soo True !