Criminal Laws and Practice in Pakistan

In Pakistan the major statutes relating to criminal law are the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 and the Criminal Procedure Code, 1898. Out of these two the former deals in defining all the offences and mentioning their punishments along, the former is specifically a code of procedure. The criminal procedure code is essentially a procedural law, which provides machinery for the punishment of offenders against the substantive criminal law example the Pakistan Penal Code. In fact the two codes are to be read together.

Apart from these two statutes, which specifically deal in the criminal branch of law, there are certain other general laws which attract criminal liability like, Negotiable Instruments Act which attracts criminal liability in case of dishonouring cheque, although new provision of section 489-F has also been added in Pakistan Penal Code, regarding dishonestly issuing a cheque. Information Technology Law is also going to be drafted very soon which will deal with the wrongs relating to the Computer and Information Technology etc. The firm possessing an expertise in this branch has, through its most experienced and efficient attorney’s has successfully handled a pile of such cases involving penal prosecution. The experience of the lawyers at work in this arena has provided us a distinct position from the rest.

The Criminal Procedure Code prescribes the Constitution of the Criminal Courts and offices and speaks of the powers of the courts. It contains various general provisions pertaining to the information to the Magistrates and Police and gives the procedure of arrest, escape and relating to the process to compel appearance through summons, warrant of arrest, proclamation and attachment and other rules regarding processes. It also prescribed the processes to compel the production of documents and other movable property and for the discovery of persons wrongfully confined through summons to produce and search warrants. The Criminal Procedure also helps for prevention of offences through security for keeping the peace and good behavior and to prevent the unlawful assemblies, public nuisances or apprehended danger, disputes as to immoveable property, preventive action of the police and their powers to investigate.

The Cr.P.C also deals with the proceedings in prosecution and gives the jurisdiction to Criminal Courts according to place of inquiry or trial, complaints to the Magistrates, commencements of proceedings before Magistrates and inquiry into cases triable by the Courts of Sessions or High Courts. It also prescribes nature and form of charges and joinders of charges and gives the procedure of trial by Magistrates including summary trial and trial before High Court and Court of Sessions and gives the mode of taking recording evidence in inquiries and trial and finally judgment.

The Criminal Procedure Code further defines the steps of submission of sentences for confirmation, execution, suspensions, remissions and computations of sentences, previous acquittals and convictions. This also dictates the steps of Appeals, References and Revisions. It further has special provisions relating to cases in which European and Pakistan British subjects are concerned and lunatics. It also defines the strategy of proceedings in case of certain offences affecting the administration of justice, of the maintenance of wives and children.

It also ordains the actions regarding directions of the nature of a Habeas Corpus and has the supplementary provisions regarding public prosecutor, bail, commissions for the examination of witness, special rules or evidence. Provisions as to bonds, of the disposal of property, transfer of criminal cases and supplementary provisions relating to European and Pakistan British subjects and others. It also specifies the conduct of irregular proceedings and miscellaneous matters.

Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 specifies the extent of punishments against different crimes and offences committed within Pakistan and beyond Pakistan but which by law may be tried within Pakistan and extra territorial offences. The PPC further assigns the policy of general exceptions, right of private defence, abetment, and criminal conspiracy. It further requires the actions against offences against the state, relating to the Army, Navy and Air Force and against public tranquillity.

It also dictates the policy against offences by or relating to public servant, offences relating to offences and contempt of the lawful authority of public servants. It further stipulates the system against the false evidence and offences against public justice and relating to coins and Government Stamps and pertaining to weights and measures.

The PPC also assigns the policy relating to offences affecting the public health, safety, convenience, decency and morals. It also assigns a scheme regarding offences relating to religion, affecting the human body, wrongful restraint and wrongful confinement, of rape and of unnatural offences. This also ordains the steps against offences against property through theft, extortion, robbery and dacoity, hijacking, criminal misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust, receiving of stolen property, of cheating, fraudulent deeds and disposition of property, mischief and criminal trespass.

The PPC also defines the punishment against offences relating to documents and to Trade or Property marks through forgery or false documents, counterfeiting currency and bank notes and criminal breach of contracts of service. It also dictates the punishment against offences relating to marriage, defamation, criminal intimidation, insult and annoyance and the attempts to commit offences.


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