KARACHI: The counsel for the petitioners who challenged the Repeal of Police Order, 2002, and transfer of the provincial police chief in the Sindh High Court has sent a legal notice to the province’s chief secretary for allegedly subverting the high court’s interim order in the Sindh IGP case by issuing transfer and posting notifications of high-ranking police officers.
Petitioner Karamat Ali, other right activists and non-government organisations had challenged the 2002 police order’s repeal, purportedly through the Sindh (Repeal of the Police Order, 2002 and Revival of the Police Act, 1861) Act, 2011, lack of implementation of the Police Order, 2002, and the illegal action of the Sindh government with regards to the transfer of Sindh IGP AD Khowaja.
The petitioners’ counsel, Faisal Siddiqui, maintained that the Sindh government was issuing notifications with regard to transfer and posting of high ranking police officers despite the fact that the court had reserved the judgment on the petition after hearing the concluding arguments of the counsel and restrained the government from transferring the IG Sindh till disposal of the case.
Siddiqui said that despite the high court’s restraining order the chief secretary in order to frustrate the interim order of the court had withdrawn powers from the Sindh IGP with regard to transfer and posting of senior police officers including SP, SSPs and DIGs, hence, violating the Police Act.
He submitted that through impugned notifications issued on July 10, 11 and 17 senior police officers were transferred without the consent of the IGP. The counsel maintained that the act was tantamount to committing contempt of court but also violated the existing Police Act, 1961, despite the fact that a contempt application was already filed against the chief secretary.
The counsel maintained that the CS once again issued notifications with regard to transfer and posting of senior police officers on August 23, 24 and 28 which reflects that notifications were issued after usurping the IG’s powers.
He alleged that such actions were taken to render the provincial police chief ineffective by ensuring that he is unable to perform his duties by replacing his subordinate officers with officers of the government’s own choosing, who are, in effect, under their control.
The counsel stated that by issuing such notifications, the chief secretary has subverted the orders of the court issued on December 28, 2016 and April 3, 2017.
The counsel said that due to such actions the chief secretary proves that he has no respect for court orders and the law. Siddiqui further maintained that his job description seems to be to defy court orders as per dictates of political masters for malafide reasons.
The counsel warned that unless the illegal notifications are not withdrawn and all illegal and contemptuous actions are not stopped, he has no option but to initiate legal proceedings, including, but not limited to, filing a complaint before the National Accountability Bureau and initiating contempt proceedings before the court against the chief secretary and other relevant persons.
The SHC had on April 3 suspended the Sindh government’s notifications regarding transfer of IG Sindh AD Khowaja and appointment of Sardar Abdul Majeed as acting IG. The court had restored Khowaja’s designation as the provincial police chief till further orders.
The court on December 28, last year, had also directed the provincial government that the issue regarding transfer or removal of AD Khowaja shall be dealt with in violation of Supreme Court’s judgments that protects the tenure of federal and provincial police heads for three years.
The case regarding the IG’s transfer and other relevant questions over police laws has been reserved for judgment by the SHC.