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March 9, 2021

SHC suspends notification of police officers’ transfer from Sindh

National

March 9, 2021

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday suspended the Establishment Division’s notifications to transfer five senior police officers from Sindh till further orders.

The interim order came on the petition of Rashid Bohio, who challenged the transfer order of five police officers to other provinces in accordance with the federal government’s rotation policy for PSP and PAS officers. The petitioner submitted that transfer policy was structured in terms of notification of August 5, 2020 which was violative of the transfer policy. The federal government had issued the notification for transferring Fida Hussain Mastoi, Iqbal Dara Dayo, Irfan Ali Baloch, Qamar-uz-Zaman and Munir Ahmed Sheikh from Sindh to the Motorway Police and Punjab Police. He submitted that there were other senior officers who have been ignored for transfer by the federal government under the impugned notification, which primarily and substantially violates the policy.

The petitioner’s counsel, Salahuddin Ahmed, submitted that the federal government had issued a notification on August 5, 2020 that governs that policy about the transfer and posting of police officers. The counsel submitted that police officers who have served for 10 years or more in any of the governments shall be transferred to other governments in three phases spanning over six months each and starting with the officers who have the longest tenures in a government.

He submitted that as per the seniority list, there are quite a few officers who have served more than the length of those transferred through impugned notification. He added that in all fairness, the officers ranking from 1 to 7 should have been taken into consideration for transfer as they have served for 17 to 22 years whereas rest of the bunch have served less. The counsel submitted that the policy was violated and no discretion vests with the federal government to flout their own policy. He submitted the officers of Grade 20 and below cannot be transferred on discretion. Whereas the government may alter the rotation policy in respect of officers of over Grade 20 due to some exigency.

The court was requested to declare the impugned transfer of police officers as contrary to rotation policy 2020 and direct the Establishment Division to reframe the rotation policy in collaboration with the provincial governments.

The SHC’s division bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Shafi Siddiqui, after hearing the arguments, observed that points raised require consideration. It observed that since the federal government has not commented on the issue, therefore, the court deems it appropriate that impugned notifications shall remain suspended till further orders.