Around 1,277 FIRs were registered online in the first two days after the web facility was launched by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police. But only 70 of those information reports were genuine, those familiar with the matter told The Express Tribune.
The service was made available on an experimental basis through the official website of the K-P police so the general public could lodge complaints without actually stepping inside a police station.
According to a high-ranking police official the decision was taken by the new provincial government as there had been complaints regarding police reluctance to register FIRs in many cases. An online system eliminates any such problem as all the person needs to do is go to the website, enter the relevant details, type out their complaint and press ‘add’.
A board has been established under the supervision of DIG Operations to scrutinise and sift through the ‘online FIRs’ and for managing the process. However, it might be prudent to note ‘online FIR’ is a bit of a misnomer: filling the form does not mean an actual FIR is automatically registered.
Step by Step
“A form is available online which complainants fill after which the identity of the complainant would be verified by NADRA.”
“Then the complaint would be scrutinised by an official at the indicated police station, who will present the report to the board,” he continued. “If the complaint is declared valid, an FIR would be launched at the relevant police station,” explained the official.
“Once the FIR is lodged the complainant is informed, he can track the details of his FIR on the website.”
At least 1,277 complaints were lodged online on Sunday and Monday after the facility was advertised via a police handout, he added. “Most of the complaints were not authentic and only 60 to 70 of the total were found to be genuine – proper FIRs were registered for those by the concerned police stations.”
(Mis)using the system
There were complaints about the police being hesitant to register first information reports in certain cases such as kidnapping for ransom and other similar crimes, shared the official. The online system was meant to discourage this practice but the new system has created another problem – misuse of of the facility.
“Most people tried to register FIRs against their opponents to create hurdles for them, which of course is not a good trend,” pointed out the official.
The FIR Board
This entity headed by the DIG has to ensure all online FIRs are downloaded on time and the details of the FIR are immediately sent to the concerned SHO, DPO and RPO via email, fax or telephone.
It will also oversee the FIR’s registration at the correct station without any delay and follow up with the person who lodged the complaint online.
The K-P police website www.kppolice.gov.pk was launched by IGP Ihsan Ghani last month.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.