A Lahore High Court division bench has directed the Punjab Police to withdraw personnel from security duty with VVIPs and put them on security duty at the courts.
An additional inspector general of police and other officers appeared before the bench of Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Sheikh Najamul Hassan on Thursday during the hearing of a petition questioning security measures at the court premises.
The officers told the bench that the police were trying to arrest those accused of violence on court premises and punishing negligent officials. Twenty-five personnel had been dismissed for negligence in the performance of their duties, they said.
Chief Justice Bandial said that during incidents of violence, the police personnel deployed at the courts acted like silent spectators. Police personnel had been assigned protocol duties with VVIPs instead of their real jobs, he added.
Justice Hassan remarked that the police investigation system had become a joke in the country. He said that only two percent of accused were convicted, largely due to poor investigations.
The bench directed the Police Department to withdraw “competent personnel” from protocol duty with VVIPs and deploy them at the court premises and other sensitive locations.
The bench adjourned the hearing for a date to be fixed by the registrar’s office.
Advocate Kashif Pasha had filed the petition, saying that the security measures at the courts were inadequate, as evident from several recent incidents of violence, including attacks on litigants, lawyers and judges. He said that murders of prisoners in judicial custody and on court premises had become common. He said that the police had failed in its duty to protect prisoners, lawyers and judges.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2013.