KARACHI: The Sindh High Court [SHC] maintained its stay against the removal of Sindh IG Allah Dino Khawaja till today [Thursday] as arguments regarding the length of the tenure of the provincial police chief continued.
A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, was hearing two applications seeking contempt of the court's order proceedings against the provincial authorities concerned for surrendering Khawaja's service to the federal government and giving additional charge of the IG's post to AIG Abdul Majid Dasti in violation of the court's December 26, 2016, stay order.
Since April 6, the court has stayed the removal of Khawaja from the post by the provincial government, which had surrendered his services to the federal government on March 31.
AD Khawaja case: SHC extends stay against IG's removal
The interim stay was granted on two applications seeking contempt of the court order proceedings against the provincial authorities for removing Khawaja from the post in an alleged violation of the earlier stay order and suspension of the government's notification that gave the additional charge of the post to Dasti.
Both pleas were moved by a group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research and Urban Resource Centre. The NGOs had approached the court against the likely removal of Khawaja from the post of IG in December last year and for reforms in the policing system in the province.
A day earlier, the court had directed the lawyer representing the NGOs, Faisal Siddiqui, to make arguments in Khawaja's case in light of the Supreme Court's judgment in the Anita Turab case.
Siddiqui argued the minimum length of the IGP's tenure, as set in the law, was five years. However, in Sindh, 13 IGs have been changed since 2002 without completing the normal tenure, he added.
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He contended that the Police Order, 2002, was not implemented in its letter and spirit in the province. He alleged the public safety commissions, which had to be set up under the Police Order, 2002, in every city to address the public complaints concerning the police department had deliberately not been established in the province.
The bench adjourned the matter till today [Thursday]. Meanwhile, it continued its interim stay order against the removal of Khawaja till the next hearing.