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September 17, 2020

LHC CJ orders IGP to ensure two-hour night patrolling in each district

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September 17, 2020

LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan on Wednesday issued notices to the federal and the provincial governments on a petition challenging the premature transfers of inspectors general of police of Punjab and capital city police officer of Lahore.

The chief justice directed the respondent governments to submit their replies within two weeks. PML-N MPA Barrister Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan had filed the petition pleading that the removal of former provincial police officer of Punjab Shoaib Dastagir and former CCPO Zulfiqar Hameed were illegal and in violation of the Police Order, 2002.

Initially, the CJ had heard the petition as an objection case as the registrar office questioned locus standi of the petitioner to agitate the matter before the high court. The law officers of the governments also opposed the maintainability of the petition on the same ground.

On the previous hearing, the CJ had conditionally overruled the office objection and observed that he would decide the question of the maintainability on the judicial side. The petition says that the frequent arbitrary and premature transfers of senior police officials in Punjab had become a norm as six-IGPs had been appointed by the government in the last two years. Similarly, three CCPOs have also been appointed in the same period of time.

The petition argues that a malfunctioning executive, which primarily relies on a police force for enforcement of laws, cannot effectively ensure the guarantees secured by the Constitution. It says the Police Order empowers the IGP to give binding recommendation to the provincial government for appointing CCPO-Lahore. It alleges that the government committed illegality by appointing Umar Sheikh as CCPO-Lahore against the recommendations of IGP and by later on transferring the IGP without following the law. The petition asks the court to set aside the impugned notifications about the removal of the former IGP and the CCPO and appointments of the new incumbents.

POLICE PATROLLING: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan ordered the IGP to ensure two-hour night patrolling by senior police officers in each district of the province.

The CJ was hearing a petition by Advocate Nadeem Sarwar seeking a judicial inquiry into the motorway gang-rape incident. Earlier, DIG (Legal) Jawad Dogar presented a report to the court on the existing system of police patrolling.

Chief Justice Khan directed that there should be patrolling from 11pm to 1am daily in all districts under the direct supervision of a senior officer. The judge sought a detailed report on the patrolling mechanism on the next hearing.