..::What is Procedure for Criminal Trial in Pakistan

When any person is apprehended for committing any crime, after investigation – that is to be completed within 14 days u/Sec. 173 of Criminal Procedure Code (Cr PC) – he / she is subjected to rigorous trial in the prescribed criminal court that has jurisdiction in the said matter. Court before commencement of trial is duty bound to allow an alleged offender to appoint defence counsel of his / her choice under Article 10 of Constitution of Pakistan. Then Court pronounces a Charge against an alleged offender that describes the nature of offence and the nature of act or omission that constitutes a specific crime. Thereafter, prosecution is given an opportunity to present evidence that it has against the alleged offender. The defence counsel of alleged offender is given full opportunity to cross examine and object to the prosecution evidence, within the prescribed limits of law. Though prosecution being the duty of the state is to be conducted by the state appointed counsels but any person who being aggrieved by the offence can appoint his / her own prosecution counsel, in addition to the state counsels already duty bound to prosecute. After the prosecution concludes its evidence the presiding Judge put certain questions u/Sec. 342 Cr PC to the alleged offender. These questions are very crucial as presiding Judge gives an opportunity to alleged offender to explain incriminating evidence against him / her. Alleged offender is also given an opportunity to appear as his own witness. Moreover he / she is also given an opportunity to present documentary evidence and witnesses in his / her defence. After the conclusion of defence evidence the trial is concluded and the Presiding Judge pronounces judgment. Judgment could be of acquittal or punishment. In both cases prosecution and alleged offender has right to appeal against the judgment of the trial court. The appeal is made to the immediate superior court of the trial court.

Punishment is universally accepted mode of retribution and deterrence. Punishment varies with the nature of crime. Different punishment can be given for the same crime. But retrospective punishment and double punishment in any case is specifically prohibited by the Constitution of Pakistan. Article 12 states: “No law shall authorise the punishment of a person for an act or omission that was not punishable at the time of the act or omission”, similarly Article 13 states: “No person shall be punished for the same offence more than once”. Article 13(b) also states: “No person shall, when accused of an offence, be compelled to be witness against himself”.

Constitution of Pakistan specifically demarcates the contours of Criminal Law of Pakistan by stating unequivocally in Article 9: “No person shall be deprived of life or liberty save in accordance with law”. And the Law shall never be against the universally accepted Fundamental Rights, this is specifically and explicitly enshrined in Article 8 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

The fundamentals of criminal law are based on the principle of justice, equity and good conscience. They provide adequate guidelines for the formulation a rational penal policy. In order to be influential the criminal law must have four important elements, that is, politicality, specificity, uniformity and penal sanction. The functioning of the criminal justice system is wide enough to achieve its goals and objectives. Its ultimate goal is undoubtedly to make the society safer for its citizens. Most widely accepted aims of the criminal law include:

  • The enforcement of criminal law should reflect the society’s disapprobation for criminal activity through apprehending, convicting and punishing the offenders.

  • Deterring criminals from indulging in criminal activities and at the same advising the other people as to how to avoid falling a victim to a crime.

  • Criminal law should be beneficially used to rehabilitate the offenders and incapacitating those who might otherwise prove to be a potential danger to the society.

  • Ensuring safety and security of people through maintenance of law and order.

  • Helping the victims to get adequate compensation from the offender wherever possible.

  • Efficient and fair application of law ensuring proper treatment of suspects, defendants, those who are held in custody and witnesses. Also ensuring that the innocents are acquitted without harassment and guilty is duly punished.

  • Ensuring that criminal justice system is accountable to the society.

 

PAKISTANI LAW FIRM

Ss. 302 /201—-Criminal Procedure Code (V of 1898), Ss. 204 & 439—Issue of process to accused—Validity—trial Court had summoned the accused to face the trial without giving any reasons whatsoever and without mentioning sufficient grounds necessitating proceedings against them—trial Court was bound to pass a speaking order as the issuance of process to face the trial in a murder case would cause harassment and agony to the accused—Opinion had to be formed by the trial Court itself on the basis of material produced before it on the question whether the allegations made had, prima facie, constituted an offence and furnished sufficient grounds for proceeding against the accused—trial Court had passed the impugned order in a mechanical manner without considering the evidence on record merely on the basis of the inquiry report submitted by the Magistrate which had…

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2 comments on “..::What is Procedure for Criminal Trial in Pakistan

  1. dear sir
    i want to know after the conclusion of prosecution and accused witnesses during trial of any case the final judgment of the court should come after last arguments of both sides or just court has to announced the judgment on basis of evidences? means is there any last arguments session after placing and cross examining the witnesses ??

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