Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Criminology

Detention of Relatives of Accused by Police

Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Criminology

Detention of Relatives of Accused by Police

Article excerpt


Detention of a person on the mere ground that he/she is the relative of an accused person is itself a violation of the universal, constitutional and national laws. The main focus in this regard is to understand the judicious interpretation of this lawlessness by the law enforcers. Pakistan criminal law is based on common law related to criminal justice system. The then British Empire imposed criminal laws of their choice to control the people and to uphold their rule upon their colonies, because they had to run the government upon vast areas under control with lesser officers. However, situation was not the same in their own country where every citizen was given equal rights of freedom and liberty under strict administrative checks on police system. Many countries like Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Bangkok, South Africa and USA have changed their British colonial criminal law system as per actual common law but Pakistan and India are following the same old system. However, courts are trying to awake the administration to look into the matter seriously. "The criminal law is the strongest arm of all the normative system of the society by which it punishes, controls, curbs and prevents crime in the society. The basic purpose of the criminal law and criminal justice administration is to save the society from evil, to free it from crime, or at least to make crime an unpleasant, detestable, unattractive and unacceptable activity or career. The criminal law, thus, has to be interpreted, applied and enforced in a manner so as to achieve these objectives." (PLD 2001 Lahore 105) Hence, the research question becomes, why police detain relatives of an accused to ensure his availability? The objective of study is to analyze the following factors,in qualitative and descriptive manner, for illegal acts of police regarding arrest of blameless citizens:

* Whether police are empowered under British colonial system to arrest any person

* Whether communal temperament makes police to adopt the process of illegal arrests

* Whether the illegal detention is part of police corrupt practices

Literature Review

The world has become a global village where news spread in a flash through social, electronic and print media. News about any violation of law, rules or rights, especially by state officials, reaches in remotest parts of the world very fast along with associated public opinion. In Pakistan the state officials are not only following the old working methods but are also still incompetent to respond to the current innovations and inventions. It is therefore imperative that a detailed viewpoint on the subject be discussed. In this respect, first of all Islamic principles about responsibility of acts of one person upon others including his relatives are mentioned followed by International laws on arbitrary arrest and detention. In the end contemporary studies on the subject are given briefly.

Islamic concept of criminal liability

Islamic concept about dealing with accused people and their relatives is very clear in Qur'anic manifestations. In the Holy Qur'an it has been mentioned that, "No laden soul can bear another's load" (Pickthal, 1995, p. 265) or that "No bearer will bear the burden of another" at various places of the Holy Qur'an to affirm that every individual is responsible for his own deed here in this world and hereafter (6 Al Anaam: 164; 17 Al Asraah: 15; 35 Al Fatir: 18; 39 Al Zumr: 7; and 53 Al Najam: 38). The repetition is itself a proof that Allah wants us to hold the people responsible for their own acts and not for the acts or omissions of their relatives or others. In explanation of above verses Molana Abul Alaa Maodudi (1996) has narrated that; "The Qur 'an has laid great stress on the doctrine of personal responsibility at several places, for one cannot follow the right way scrupulously without understanding fully its implications. It means that everyone is solely responsible for one's moral conduct and is accountable to God as an individual in one's own person and no other person can share the burden of responsibility with him "(p. …

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