By Uzma Zafar
ISLAMABAD: After adopting a strategic framework with capacity building through modern training, use of information technology and incorporation of new tools in day-to-day policing, Islamabad Police took the initiative of introducing Dispute Resolution Council (DRC) comprising apolitical and reputed members of the society including professionals, retired civil officer, educationists, businessmen, journalists and lawyers etc. This project was firstly introduced in KP Police which is running successfully.
IGP Islamabad Qazi Jamil ur Rehman told that the need for establishing Dispute Resolution Council was felt in Islamabad when petty issues that were of non-cognizable nature came to police stations and the police had no other way to solve them except to refer them to the civil courts.
If such issues not addressed in time he told, the aggrieved party takes law in his own hands and it converts into series of heinous crimes. Hence, to avoid such acts of aggression Islamabad Police has taken this step to take the community on hoard to amicably resolve disputes.
The council is working efficiently and it received 26 complaints so far forwarded by IG, DIG and SSP offices. Most of the complaints have been resolved.
This council would not only resolve disputes but would provide guidance to the Police in cases of disputed or contested investigations. After observing the case and listening both the parties, the Council would guide the investigation staff with their opinion.
This council would also work as fact finding Council. When an application is referred to this council, the council could mark it for a fact-finding report by the SHO, and he would give a brief report about that application. â€œThe Council would be empowered to initiate a preventive action even unilaterally through the SHO, against the aggressor partyâ€ .
The dispute resolution council (DRC) consists of 21 members. A jury room has been established at Rescue-15 to provide a respectable and comfortable ambience to the members and parties, he told.
Overall working of DRC will be organized and planned by the Convener elected/selected from the members as per the procedure laid down hereafter. Each council will be divided into three panels consisting three members. â€œThe lower subordinate of the concerned police station will be appointed as a supporting staff to maintain record of working and decisions of the Council.
In order to prevent misuse and monopolization of DRC by a selected few, the membership of DRC is kept in a fluid state meaning that there are no permanent members and members can join and leave upon their will. A member if suspected of violating the code of conduct or misuse of his membership can be removed.
A council member will not take the case on his own, however, he may recommend the applicant to police. The condition will help in preventing partiality or corruption by DRC members.
The code of ethics also categorically defines eligibility criteria for members of the council stating that one should have apolitical background. He should be well-respected, well-reputed in his community. It is worth mentioning here that although DRC is meant to facilitate amicable resolutions of disputes among all segments of society and main focus is to provide free and expeditious justice to those vulnerable groups.
All willing members will work as a Convener to the council on three-month rotation basis voluntarily and police coordinator appointed with each DRC as liaison officer will be responsible for summoning both the parties and ensuring attendance before the DRC.