Noncompliance of Access to Information Policy

ISLAMABAD, November 27, 2012: Around two-thirds of the monitored 126 police stations in Punjab and Sindh did not have separate registers to record requests seeking information while a similar number had no Information Access Officers, a Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) report says.

The report released on Tuesday pointed out that although the Punjab and Sindh Police Departments adopted the Access to Information Policy several years ago, Station House Officers (SHOs) at 25% police stations were not aware of it.

Moreover, public had no access to copies of challans presented in court and FIRs at 56% and 18% police stations.

FAFEN observers who visited 175 police stations also found that the infrastructure was no better with 59% of them housed in dilapidated buildings and 17% lacking proper buildings.

Additionally, one-fourth did not have arrangements for drinking water and a similar number had no stationery.

However, on the positive side, 99% police stations had vehicles with 98% getting fuel from the relevant department. Ninety three percent were equipped with wireless/telephone connections; 97% had electricity and 93% having fans.

FAFEN monitors observed police being polite to citizens at 93% police stations while at 95% of them they facilitated citizens in registering FIRs. At 19% police stations, people were turned away at the gate.

The July-September 2012 quarter saw 89 visits by government/elected representatives to 175 police stations – meaning no oversight of at least half of the stations monitored. 

The District Police Officers made the most visits (58), followed by Regional Police Officers (11), Members Provincial Assembly (3), Member National Assembly and provincial minister (one each). Some other government/elected representatives made 15 visits.