Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
Section J. Compelling accused persons to testify against themselves or to confess guilt
The Manual of Pakistan Military Law (1987) states:
41. Confession must be voluntary. – To be relevant, and therefore admissible as evidence, a confession must be voluntary. Though it is highly desirable that the prosecutor should prove the circumstances in which a confession was made, the onus lies upon the accused of showing that a confession made by him was not voluntary and, therefore, irrelevant. Unless, therefore, it appears doubtful whether a confession is voluntary, a court need not require the prosecutor affirmatively to establish that fact.
42. What this means
. – A confession is not deemed to be, if it appears to the court to have been caused by any inducement, threat, or promise, having reference to the charge against the accused person, proceeding from a person in authority (e.g., the prosecutor person having the custody of the accused) and sufficient, in the opinion of the court, to give the accused person grounds, which would appear to him to be reasonable, for supposing that by making it he would gain any advantage or avoid any evil of a temporal nature in reference to proceedings against him (Qanun-e-Shahadat, Article 37).
Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act (1997) states:
Conditional admissibility of confession
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Qanun-e-Shahadat, 1984 (President’s Order No. 10 of 1984) or any other law for the time being in force, where in any Court proceedings held under this Act the evidence (which includes circumstantial and other evidence) produced raises the presumption that there is a reasonable probability that the accused has committed the offence, any confession made by the accused during investigation without being compelled, before a police officer not below the rank of a District Superintendent of Police, may be admissible in evidence against him if the Court so deems fit:
Provided that the confessional statement made before the District Police Officer or equivalent officer of security forces operating in aid of civil power in the military/security operational areas notified by the Government under section 4 of this Act, involving attack on the members of Armed Forces, Civil Armed Forces, Law Enforcement Agencies, Government installations, hotels or public property, shall be admissible in evidence. Provided further that the District Superintendent of Police before recording any such confession, had explained to the person making it that he is not bound to make a confession and that if he does so it may be used as evidence against him and that no District Superintendent of Police has recorded such confession unless, upon questioning the person making it, the District Superintendent of Police had reason to believe that it was made voluntarily; and that when he recorded the confession, he made a memorandum at the foot of such record to the following effect:
“I have explained to (… name …), that he is not bound to make a confession and that, if he does so, any confession he may make may be used as evidence against him and I believe that this confession was voluntarily made. It was taken in my presence, and was read over to the person making it and admitted by him to be correct, and it contains a full and true account of the statement made by him.
(signed) Superintendent of Police.”
In 2001, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Pakistan stated the following principle from its Constitution: “The dignity of man is inviolable, and no person shall be subjected to torture for the purpose of extracting evidence (art. 14).”