Whether the police release "police reports;" description of the reports [PAK36145.E]

The following part of this Response deals with First Information Reports (FIR).

According to a Pakistani lawyer practising in Lahore, the most important kind of police reports are First Incident Reports (FIR) (18 Jan. 2001). The lawyer stated that FIRs are normally hand-written, in the Urdu language, though in some cases they may be in English. Regarding the format of the FIR, the lawyer stated that

It has columns which give the date of the FIR, the date of occurrence and time, the police station, name of the complainant, the sections under which the person is accused, the distance between the place of occurrence and the police station and reasons for delay of the FIR. The name of the police constable writing the FIR is at the bottom of the FIR.

On 22 January 2001 a Pakistani lawyer practising in Rawalpindi provided the following information about FIRs:

Police reports in Pakistan are recorded in vernacular, in the language of the person lodging the report. Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure permits written or verbal information about the commission of a crime. The Police Officer recording the information is required to reduced [sic] the verbal report in writing, on the dictation of the person lodging the report, who is required to sign or thumb-mark the same.
Sometimes a type written report may be sent to the police station. In such a case the officer receiving the report usually transcribes the same in his own hand as a formal FIR.

The Rawalpindi lawyer also stated that according to regulations, FIRs are to kept in a bound register, 200 pages long. Each case entered in the register is to bear an annual serial number, and every four pages of the register are to bear the same number, and are to be written at the same time by means of carbon paper. Of the resulting four copies of each page of the FIR, one copy is to be kept in the police station for sixty years, another is to be given "to the Superintendent of Police or other gazetted officer nominated by him," another is to be given "to the magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence as is required by Section 157, Criminal Procedure Code," and the fourth is to be given to the complainant unless the complainant received a different document called a "Form 24.2" (22 Jan. 2001). The lawyer explained that a "Form 24.2" is a document which is "meant to keep a record of the written complaints, which have to be recorded as formal FIRs" in the event that a "cognizable offence" is involved (23 Jan. 2001).

Regarding the question of accused persons' access to FIRs dealing with their cases, the Rawalpindi lawyer added that

An accused does not have access to the FIR in the police station. But he or any person who so desires, can get a copy of the FIR from the Magistrate's court. He can do so as a matter of right. However, it is not uncommon [to obtain] a copy of the FIR unofficially from the police or the SSP's [Senior Superintendent of Police] office, which of course is not certified (23 Jan. 2001).

Please find attached to this Response two sample FIRs and a sample "Form 24-2." The word "Chaukidar" on the "Form 24-2" means village watchman, whose responsibility it is to report offences committed in his area of responsibility; the word "Labardar" means village headman (23 Jan. 2001).

The following part of this Response deals with other kinds of police reports in Pakistan.

Among the other documents that could also be called "police reports" is a document called a kalandara. The Lahore lawyer stated that "a kalandara is a report by a police officer under section 107 and 109 of the Criminal Procedure Code. It is against breach of peace. It is a minor offence. Normally a bond of surety is taken for keeping peace (20 Jan. 2001).

The following excerpts from sections 107 and 109 of the Criminal Procedure Code have been provided by the Lahore lawyer:

107. Security for keeping the peace in other cases. (1) Whenever a [District Magistrate or sub-division or an Executive Magistrate specially empowered in this behalf by the Provincial Government or the District Magistrate] is informed that any person is likely to commit a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity or to do any wrongful act that may probably occasion a breach of the peace, or disturb the public tranquillity, the Magistrate if in his opinion there is sufficient ground for proceeding may in manner hereinafter provided, require such person to show cause why he should not be ordered to execute a bond, with or without sureties, for keeping the peace for such period not exceeding [three years] as the magistrate thinks fit to fix.
(2) Proceedings shall not be taken under this section unless either the person informed against or the place where the breach of the peace of disturbance is apprehended, is within the local limits of such Magistrate's jurisdiction, and no proceedings shall be taken before any Magistrate other than a District Magistrate, unless both the persons informed against and the place where the breach of the peace or disturbance is apprehended, are within the local limits of the Magistrate's jurisdiction.
(3) Procedure of Magistrate not empowered to act under subsection (1). When any Magistrate not empowered to proceed under subsection (1) has reason to believe that any person is likely to commit a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity or to do any wrongful act that may probably occasion a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity, and that such breach of the peace of disturbance cannot be prevented otherwise that by detaining such person in custody, such Magistrate may, after recording his reasons, issue a warrant for his arrest if he is not already in custody or before the Court, and may send him before a Magistrate empowered to deal with the case, together with a copy of his reasons.
(4) A Magistrate before whom a person is sent under subsection (3) may in his discretion detain such person in custody pending further action by himself under this Chapter.
109. Security for good behaviour from vagrants and suspected persons---Whenever a [District Magistrate or Sub-Divisional Magistrate or an Executive Magistrate specially empowered by the Provincial Government in this behalf] receives information (
a. that any person is taking precautions to conceal his presence within the local limits of such Magistrate's jurisdiction, and that there is reason to believe that such person is taking such precautions with a view to committing any offence, or
b. that there is within such limits a person who has no ostensible means of subsistence, or who cannot give a satisfactory account of himself.
Such Magistrate may, in manner hereinafter provided, require such person to show cause why he should to be ordered to execute a bond, with sureties, for his good behaviour for such period, not exceeding [three years], as the Magistrate thinks fit to fix (20 Jan. 2001).

The Rawalpindi lawyer provided the following information about police reports that are not FIRs:

Apart from FIR there is another form of report recorded under section 155 of the Code [of Criminal Procedure] about the offences which are not cognizable by the police. Such reports are recorded in a register, which is known as daily diary. This register records all the occurrences: the arrival and departure of the police patrols and every other occurrence. The reports of non-cognizable offences, if reported to the police, are recorded and the person concerned is directed to approach the court having jurisdiction. Copies of such reports are provided to the person making the report (22 Jan. 2001).

Additional information on police reports in Pakistan can be found in PAK18812.E of 19 October 1994 and attachments, PAK19026.E of 14 November 1994 and attachments, PAK19268.E of 12 December 1994, PAK29687.E of 13 July 1998, and PAK33636.E of 10 February 2000.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Pakistan. n.d. Code of Criminal Procedure. Articles 107, 109. (provided by a lawyer in Lahore)

Pakistani lawyer, Lahore, Pakistan. 18 January 2001. Correspondence.

_____. 20 January 2001. Correspondence.

Pakistani lawyer, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. 23 January 2001. Correspondence.

_____. 22 January 2001. Correspondence.

Attachments


First Information Report. n.d. [in Urdu] (provided by a Pakistani lawyer practicing in Lahore)

Form No. 24-2. First Information Report Made by A Complainant. n.d. [in English] (provided by a Pakistani lawyer practicing in Rawalpindi)

Form No. 24-5. First Information Report. n.d. (provided by a Pakistani lawyer practicing in Rawalpindi)

Additional Sources Consulted


IRB databases

LEXIS/NEXIS

Unsuccessful attempts to obtain information from two non-documentary sources

US State Department Visa Reciprocity and Country Documents Finder