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Home secy unable to act on IGP’s proposals as new police law already adopted

Karachi

May 21, 2019

Sindh Home Secretary Abdul Kabir Kazi on Monday confirmed that he had received the letter written by the provincial police chief regarding the new police law.

Talking to Geo News, the home secretary said that he cannot do anything on the issue now because the bill to revive the Police Order 2002 has already been passed by the provincial assembly.

The News had learnt on May 1 that the inspector general of police (IGP) had sent the government suggestions before they were to finalise the Police Order. Ahead of the then meeting of the Sindh cabinet, he had written to the home secretary, informing him about the revival of the Police Order 2002 as it stood in 2011, and intimated him about the reforms in police laws and proposed amendments in the Police Order 2002 as it stood in 2011.

IGP Dr Syed Kaleem Imam’s letter reads: “The Police Order 2002 was repealed in July 2011 and the Police Act 1861 was revived by the Sindh Assembly as it stood on August 14, 2002.

“The functioning of police organisation and its administration and superintendence has been subject of judicial proceedings on more than one occasion. A reference may be made to the judgement of the Honourable Sindh High Court [SHC] dated September 7, 2017 and the final judgement dated March 26, 2018.

“It would be appropriate that any proposed Police Act for the province or amendments in the Police Act or Police Order may be considered keeping in view the judgements of the superior courts. Any law incompatible with the spirit of the judgements is unlikely to withstand the judicial scrutiny if challenged in the competent court of law.

“It would be in the best interest of the province and the government to enact a law which is compatible with the judgements ensuring administrative and operational autonomy of the inspector general of police as enunciated in the above mentioned judgements.

“A draft Police Act has been prepared keeping in view the basic spirit of Police Order 2002 and the judgements of the Honourable SHC and the Honourable Supreme Court as well as the requirements of the modern-day policing needs. A copy of the proposed Police Act is also enclosed.

“It was further stated that the judgement of the Honourable High Court of Sindh has directed the government to notify the Sindh Police Transfer, Posting and Tenure Rules as proposed by the Inspector General of Police Sindh.

“The IGP Sindh has already submitted the draft rules for the formal notification by the government. The copy of the draft rules is enclosed. The cabinet may approve the proposed Police Rules. It is pertinent to mention that the Sindh Police is not in the picture of the proposed law being tabled for the cabinet meeting being held.

“The honourable members of the cabinet are further requested to consider submissions made in this working paper before arriving at any decision regarding enactment of a new Police Act, revival of the Police Order 2002 or considering amendments into the existing Police Act or the Police Order 2002 as the case may be.”

The meeting

During the cabinet meeting, the Sindh government considered some recommendations by the IGP and said the Police Order 2002 needed some changes, including in the transfer and posting powers, and it would be similar to the Police Order that is currently in effect in Punjab.

To implement the SC’s orders, the cabinet approved the revival of the Police Order 2002 as it was applicable in the Punjab, but it was referred to the relevant standing committee for considering certain amendments to make it a progressive law in connection with modern requirement of policing.

This decision was taken in the cabinet meeting held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at the CM House. The chief executive said the maintenance of law and order was the responsibility of the government.

“With our political will we have restored law and order in the province, particularly in the city of Karachi, but ever since the police have started operating on their own, various serious issues have emerged.”

The chief secretary said that the entire government officers system revolved around appointment, promotion and transfer (APT) rules, adding that the same rules were applicable on the police as well.

To implement the SC’s decisions in CP Nos. 148, 149 and 150, the cabinet approved the revival of the Police Order 2002 as it stood in 2001 and as it was applicable in Punjab, but the law was referred to the relevant standing committee of the Sindh Assembly for considering certain amendments and consulting with all the stakeholders to make it a progressive law for establishing modern, responsible and responsive policing.

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