Reasonable Apprehension before Firing (in PPO)

Reasonable apprehension, legally is a vague term used since 150 years. It is not described in any detail, but a policeman can fire and kill somebody on this basis. In our meetings on PPO, PMLN leaders challenged me to come up with a description. I prepared the same which is as follows:

Reasonable Apprehension, that death, grievous hurt, or destruction of property may be caused by an act, may be based upon:

  1. Credible prior information about a person, who is identified on site or a suspect who may be that person and the person either attempts to resist arrest by force and/or refuses a command to surrender and his action may lead to injury or death;
  2. On prior information but without any clear identification of individual/s in an area who may have been or are going to be involved in the planning, commission or financing of a terror crime carry out actions as mentioned in (i);
  3. On appreciation of circumstances on the scene that a person can cause harm and the situation may lead to serious harm injury or death, a judgment based on event/s or a sequence of events on site;
  4. Threatening movement of a person who is in possession of a fire arm or reaching for a firearm, to target law enforcing personnel or a member of the public which may lead to serious injury or death;
  5. On prior information or a judgment on site that the person may cause to signal or personally trigger an explosion which can cause harm or a person assisting in commission of such a crime that may lead to injury or death.

My argument for this detailed description which I wrote was that instead of the policeman or ranger being given a vagueand subjective license to use a firearm and can kill a civilian, he should be guided-educated in an objective manner.

Accidents will still happen but we will reduce the chances. The opposition senators including Aitzaz Ahsan and Raza Rabbani then insisted with Zahid Hamid and PMLN team that this amendment must be done. Aitzaz Sahib also said that 150 yr old history and laws must be improved with such dynamic out of the box thinking.

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