October 21st, 2006 by Abdul Rehman
9. Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman’s Statement & Incorrect Conclusions
It is important to discuss a statement made by Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman during the Zara Sochieye Debate on Geo TV. He said:
Punishing a man or woman, in advance,
with imprisonment before hearing of the case
i.e. keeping them in Police’s custody,
is un-Islamic and unjust.
Firstly, it must be noted that an arrest warrant does not contain a commandment to “punish the accused with imprisonment till hearing of the case.” Arrest warrants issued by feminist NGOs and Geo TV might contain such provisions :) Will someone explain which court has punished an accused with imprisonment till hearing of the case, before the case is even heard?
The definition of arrest can be understood easily by the Urdu word 'Giraftaar' which means to take something in one’s custody/security. This means that the police arrests people, on the basis of a report (i.e. FIR—First Information Report) or some other solid evidence, for example, the police arrested a person showing weapons to terrorize others or two people committing fornication infront of a police officer. They have to keep these arrested people somewhere and the prescribed place is jail. If the people of this country do not like it and if they have enough resources, they may put them wherever they like. Clearly, this keeping in jail, is not a ‘punishment of imprisonment!’
It should be noted here that crimes are divided into two categories: (a) cognizable offence; and (b) non-cognizable offence. Cognizable offence is an offence for which the police can arrest a person without an arrest warrant, on the basis of evidence or a credible report. Some cognizable offences are bail-able, whereas, others are not. Non-cognizable offences are those for which, the police does not have the authority to arrest anyone until an arrest warrant has been issued by an authorized court of magistrate.
By now, the argument that keeping arrested people in jail is unjust, has been cleared up. Mufti sahib (probably) arrived incorrectly at this conclusion, because, he equalized the police station with a court of magistrate (Qazi ki Adalat) and lodging of FIR with hearing of the case. This was apparent when he said: “If four witnesses have come/arrived to a Qadi, this in itself is the registration of a case.” (God knows better!)
It is also pertinent to note here that Geo TV has deduced a totally incorrect & absurd conclusion from the above statement, which is included in their Declaration Statement i.e. women should not be put in jail at all. Firstly, it is not related with the Hudood Ordinance and secondly, this is a distortion of Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman’s statement!
Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman’s statement, if correct and acceptable, would mean that men and women BOTH should not be arrested for ANY CRIME WHATSOEVER. It is important to note that his edict dealt with keeping people in jail, before conviction by a court. The impact of this edict, if accepted, would be that all people which were arrested by the police, would be left free of charge to ruin public peace! One can easily approximate from this fact, the authenticity of his statement. He seems to be flawed in his understanding of criminal law and judicial system; to err is human.