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Monday May 20, 2024

CS, IGP again told to activate public safety and police complaint commissions

By Jamal Khurshid
April 24, 2024
This combo of images shows, Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Asif Hyder Shah (L) and Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ghulam Nabi Memon (R). — Facebook/Sindh Police/AsifHyderShahBureaucrat
This combo of images shows, Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Asif Hyder Shah (L) and Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ghulam Nabi Memon (R). — Facebook/Sindh Police/AsifHyderShahBureaucrat

The Sindh High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the chief secretary, the inspector general of police and the home secretary on a contempt application against the non-implementation of a court order with regard to the activation of provincial and district public safety and police complaint commissions and meaningful consultation with the IGP on matters pertaining to the police administration, appointments and postings of police officers.

Filing a contempt of court application, Jibran Nasir submitted that the SHC had ordered activation of provincial and district public safety and police complaint commissions and various directions for the implementation of the police law in letter and spirit.

He said that despite specific directions of the court, the alleged contemnors have not taken steps to ensure compliance with the court orders and public at large was not in a position to lodge complaints against police highhandedness. He submitted that the law and order situation of the city was also worsening day by day.

The counsel said that the last meeting of the public safety and police complaints commissions were held in July 2020 and no further meeting was held in last four years. He further submitted that members of the commissions also requested the chief minister to look into the matter as the commissions’ meetings were to be held under the chairmanship of the home minster. He said that the current breakdown of law and order was also due to fact that the institutional mechanism under the police law to hold police accountable had been completely paralyzed by not convening the commissions’ meetings.

The court was requested to take action against alleged contemnors for not implementing the directions of the court in letter and spirit. A high court division bench, headed by Chief Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, after the preliminary hearing of the application, issued notices to the chief secretary, the IGP and the home secretary and directed them to file comments and ensure that orders of the court as well as the police law be implemented in letter and spirit.

The SHC had issued a detailed order with regard to the implementation of the police reforms and laws. It had also ordered that provincial and district public safety and police complaint commissions be activated and meetings to be convened and held at least once every calendar month until such time as proper rules are framed in this regard. The court also protected the tenure of IGP and declared that any move to remove an IGP from the post prior to the conclusion of the term/tenure would be subject to the rule laid down by the Supreme Court in the Anita Turab case.

The court had ordered that any exercise of powers by the government with regard to the constitution of police force and appointments of experts shall require meaningful consultation with the IGP, who would be invited to attend the relevant meetings with proper and sufficient notice and make a representation, if the IGP so desires.

It had also directed that the postings of city and district police officers and constitution of police regions and divisions would be made in consultation with the government instead of approval of the provincial government.