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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2461

Setting up of Commissions

By Zulkifli Nazim

Our Government is extremely efficient in instituting quick action in setting up of commissions – whether it be on the aftermath of violence or fraud – murder and mayhem, even wilful and unlawful crippling and mutilation, of people, places, properties and things – our Government immediate comes out “We are setting up a Commission to probe”.

In spite of the fact that the perpetrators are known, the murderers and all those who unleashed violence and havoc in the country have been identified by the presence of CCTV Cameras and Mobile phone cameras that have captured the images – The government comes out with its famous statement : “We are setting up a Commission to probe”.

This has been happening since Mr. Maithripala Sirisena took over the country in 2015. Instead of allowing the Legal Machinery and the investigative process, the president by making such a statement is a delay tactic and is actually throwing a spanner in the works which makes this legal processes coming to a grinding halt.

At this point I would like to mention a gem of a statement made by the then Communist Party Leader the late Mr. Pieter Keuneman, a statesman and a gentleman to a “T”.

He said:
Setting up of commissions is like going to the toilet.
First there is a sitting
Then there is a report
And then the matter is dropped.

The brilliance of this gem of a statement cannot be even dreamed of by the present legislators.

Crime investigation is inevitable in every criminal justice system. Greatness of the system depends on proper and efficient crime investigation and law enforcement. Therefore, no country could give up the idea of constituting a police agency for law enforcement and crime control. Crime control includes maintenance of law and order and the investigation. Police is conducting the investigation on behalf of the society because it reflects the will of the society. Entrusted with such duties, they became official crime fighters and the law enforcers. The purpose of investigation process is achieved by efficient, impartial and timely investigation.

Law breaking by the police is a usual phenomenon.

News regarding abuse of police power always finds a place in the media. Controlling of police is very difficult, since outsiders, influential people and interested parties, protect them. Poor and vulnerable sections of the society and the ethnic minorities are the worst sufferers of police abuses.

Most of such incidents do not come to the limelight. Even if reported, due to careless disregard and political interference, they escape from the clutches of law.

In the area of investigation abuses of power by the police is very high. Custodial violence, non-recording of arrest, victimisation of innocent people, custodial rape, and fabrication of evidence are some of them.

Custodial violence, which includes torture, death and other excesses in police custody or prison, is not a new phenomenon. It has been in the world for ages. The law enforcement agencies had been practicing this on prisoners, criminals and the wrongdoers and Custodial rape is a form of rape which takes place while the victim is "in custody" and constrained from leaving and the rapist or rapists are an agent of the power that is keeping the victim in custody.

Though our courts are vigilant in dealing the abuse of power by the police strictly, the executive is not showing much concern over this issue.

Several police commission reports were submitted, nothing has been done positively by the Government to solve this problem. It is the duty, obligation and responsibility of the Governments to implement certain directions to improve the quality of police system. But, it seems that, the implementations of these directions will not do any good to the criminal justice system.

In order to improve the efficiency of criminal justice system, not only the agency, which is conducting investigation but also the law dealing with investigation, must be changed accordingly. The change in one may not be fruitful and in the case of abuse of power, status-quo - The existing state of affairs, may be the rule.

- Asian Tribune -

Setting up of Commissions
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