Dispute Resolution Councils bring justice to Peshawar

//Dispute Resolution Councils bring justice to Peshawar

Dispute Resolution Councils bring justice to Peshawar

PESHAWAR – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP)’s first Dispute Resolution Councils (DRCs) are providing speedy justice to citizens and relieving the traditional, overburdened judicial system, according to officials.
“The DRCs will play an important role in resolving a number of issues through the alternative justice system (jirgas) without involving the traditional police and judicial system,” KP Inspector General of Police Nasir Khan Durrani told Central Asia Online.
KP in late January formed the first of these councils at the Gulbahar Police Station in Peshawar. Two others are soon scheduled to begin operating in other parts of Peshawar, and plans call for the programme to be extended throughout KP eventually.
Programme shows early promise
Already, the programme has reported successes.
Peshawar resident Ilahi Bakhsh had a property dispute with his brother, Khadim Hussain. Bakhsh filed an application with the DRC February 2, hoping to end the source of tension within his family.
“The DRC did a wonderful job by settling by a 25-year-long dispute within only four days,” he said. “The decision came on February 6, and both parties accepted.”
The Gulbahar station committee has received 84 complaints so far, of which 20 were settled and eight were withdrawn. The council referred eight other complaints to the police for further action.
“One case was filed by one Umar of Yakatoot against the police, alleging that the local police are supporting his rival in a dispute and often detain him,” Gulbahar Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Dr. Mustafa Tanveer said. “We called the deputy superintendent of police and the station house officer of the area, who apologised and assured he would not be bothered again.”
Who is on the councils?
The aim is to appoint upstanding citizens who have a solid reputation to the councils.
The 30-member Gulbahar committee, for example, has a number of former university vice chancellors and professors, bureaucrats and army officers among its members.
“This will have a positive effect,” Peshawar-based journalist Qaisar Khan said of appointing people from diverse backgrounds. “Previously only politicians or those [with a background] in criminal justice work were included in such committees.”
With a broader segment of society represented, including those who have experience solving problems through talking, “The [DRCs] … can play an important role in settling disputes without involving police and courts,” Khan said.
Future expansion of the programme
As the project expands, each of KP’s 210 police stations will be expected to have its own 22-member council consisting of respected, apolitical and uncontroversial intellectuals, educators, businessmen, lawyers and retired civilian officials and military officers.
“The council shall further be divided into seven panels comprising of three members each,” Ashraf said. “The council members shall select one registrar … to assign cases and co-ordinate among council members.”
Each council will also have a seasoned higher-level police representative (inspector or sub inspector) attached as a police co-ordinator. The officer is supposed to ensure that both parties meet with the panels and to provide the panels with legal guidance and to ensure that council members remain law-abiding citizens.
The police review cases and determine whether they should go to the DRC or to the courts, ASP Sohaib Ashraf said.
The police will be ultimately responsible for verifying implementation of the DRCs’ rulings, he said.

http://centralasiaonline.com/en_GB/articles/caii/features/pakistan/main/2014/03/06/feature-01

By | 2014-04-15T13:11:31+00:00 April 15th, 2014|News|Comments Off on Dispute Resolution Councils bring justice to Peshawar

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