Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem has revealed that the law ministry has proposed the insertion of a new section in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in order to make admissible the recording of evidences through audio and video links.
Talking to media persons during the oath-taking ceremony of Press Association of Supreme Court office bearers, Naseem maintained that the law ministry had sent a detailed draft regarding criminal law reforms to Prime Minister Imran Khan and the same would be placed before the cabinet soon.
The law minister will give brief the cabinet in this regard.
Commenting on the delay in deciding the cases by the judiciary, Naseem rejected the international organisations reports, saying Pakistan was the most litigated state, adding the situation in India and other countries was worst.
Regarding the independence of media, Naseem acknowledged that the journalists and had major a contribution in the continuity of democracy in the country.
He said journalists concerns regarding the proposed media authority would be addressed, noting that the information minister would announce good news on the matter.
He stated that 225 central and 644 sub-amendments had been proposed in the laws and the purpose for these amendments was to completely reforming the criminal justice system.
These laws include the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898, the Pakistan Penal Code 1860, Qanun-e-Shahadat Order 1984, Control of Narcotics Act 1997, Railways Act 1890, Pakistan Prison Rules 1978, Islamabad Capital Territory Criminal Prosecution Service (Constitution, Functions and Powers) Act 2021 and Islamabad Capital Territory Forensic Science Agency Act 2021.
According to a spokesperson of the law ministry, strenuous efforts were made under the leadership of law minister to prepare the amendments to the criminal law and opinions were also sought from all concerned departments including the provincial police, Islamabad police, prosecutors general and prosecution departments.
Consultations were also held with lawyers, NGOs, human rights lawyers, home secretaries and representatives of the attorney general’s office, he added.
He said all the provincial secretaries for law and offices of advocate generals of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa were also consulted. Relevant reports of the Law and Justice Commission were also scrutinised while preparing these amendments.
He observed that while preparing the amendments, all measures were considered to ensure speedy justice. The purpose of these amendments is to completely overhaul the criminal justice system and if passed, the amendments would be a major achievement to the criminal justice system, he added.
The spokesperson mentioned that these amendments were introducing an efficient and expeditious procedure for filing of FIRs and added that they would significantly reduce the number of pending cases and time to pursue cases would be greatly reduced.
He said the proposed amendments would reduce the pressure of police on people and cases would be disposed of transparently as evidence gathering would be further improved and expedited.
The federal law minister had referred the first draft of criminal law reform to PM Imran in June 2021 and after further consultation, forwarded the second draft of criminal law reforms to him last Friday.