The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday sought replies from relevant authorities on a plea for making mandatory CCTV cameras in interrogation rooms and body-cam on investigation officers to record the entire process in order to curb the custodial torture.
As proceedings commenced, Justice Jawad Hassan said that he does not deal in criminal cases. To which petitioner’s counsel Syeda Izzat Fatima told the court that it was a case in the public's interest.
"Your case is about American law but this is Pakistan," Justice Jawad observed. To which the lawyer Fatima replied that Section 54 of CrPC and Article 10 (1) of the Constitution are about the fundamental rights of the arrestee.
"If we [already] have the rights then what do you want now," Justice Jawad asked. Fatima replied by saying that the arrestees are not told about their rights when police make the arrest and sometimes the statements are obtained under duress.
As the counsel drew the court’s attention towards CCTV installation in the interrogation rooms and body-cam on investigation officers, Justice Jawad said that the matter will be discussed later.
She requested the court that directions be passed to the police high-ups for making arrangements for CCTV in the interrogation rooms mandatory whereas body-cam must also be worn by the investigation officers so that the entire process of arrest can be recorded. She argued that doing so was mandatory for police officials in the United States.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2022.
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