Saturday September 23, 2023

SC upholds sacking of police officer in illegal custody case

By Our Correspondent
February 04, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the removal of an officer of Punjab Police for keeping a citizen in unlawful custody for three days and dismissed his appeal.

A three-member bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, dismissed the appeal of Liaqat Ali, an officer of Punjab CIA Police, against his removal from service.

During the hearing, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed that keeping a citizen in unlawful custody by the police officer was misconduct. “The officer had been removed from service after a departmental inquiry, declaring his act as misconduct,” the Chief Justice observed, adding that the court could not intervene in a police inquiry. Later, the court dismissed his appeal.

Meanwhile, the bench also rejected a plea seeking transfer of a land dispute case from Layyah to Rawalpindi. Tahira Kaleem, the petitioner, submitted before the court that she had a land dispute with her brother in Layyah, adding that as the whole family lived in Rawalpindi, therefore, the case should be transferred to Rawalpindi.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed that law could not be changed to facilitate someone, adding that law is equal to all.

The petitioner submitted that it was very difficult to visit the far-flung area of Layyah as there was no airport, therefore, it was not possible to attend every hearing of the case.

But the Chief Justice observed that conditions were not as unfavourable as she was narrating.

Justice Athar Minallah, another member of the bench, observed if cases were shifted to doorstep of litigants, then it would open a new Pandora’s box. “It is clearly mentioned in civil law that cases will be adjudicated upon in the same areas where there is a land dispute,” Justice Minallah remarked and observed that Parliament had enacted the law and the court could not change it, adding that it was not mandatory upon the parties to attend every hearing of a civil case.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed that the parties concerned, if wanted, could become a part of court proceedings through video link. Later, the court rejected the plea.