KARACHI: In the latest incident in the never-ending battle between the Sindh government and inspector-general of police, the government has decided to approach the federal government to post a Grade 22 officer in place of Allah Dino Khawaja, who is a Grade 21 officer.
The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting on Saturday chaired by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, special assistants to the chief minister, Chief Secretary Riwan Memon, IG Khawaja and other officials concerned.
The day’s agenda included 10 items. These were consideration of the Police Rules proposed by IG Khawaja, posting of grade 22 officers, an amendment in Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, draft rules under the Hindu Marriage Act, creation of the Ziauddin University Board of Higher Education, grant of charter to Sohail University, Karachi and an amendment in the Sindh Development and Maintenance of Infrastructure Cess Act.
Service Secretary Mohammad Riazuddin told participants of the meeting that the post of IG is a Grade 22 post, however, IG Khawaja is a Grade 21 officer. He added that on the promotion to Grade 22, the services of Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti have been placed at the disposal of the Sindh government.
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Riazuddin said that the Supreme Court has returned all officers posted on own pay scale (OPS). Therefore, IG Khawaja’s OPS posting is in violation of the apex court’s orders. He proposed the Cabinet approach the federal government to post Dasti as the provincial police chief instead.
The IG said that when he was posted as the police chief it was with the consent of the provincial government. When he was posted as IG by the federal government the Supreme Court judgment against OPS was in vogue, meaning the federal government was aware of the fact. He added that since 2005, 17 IGs have been posted in Sindh, of which 14 were in Grade 21 and only three were in Grade 22.
IG Khawaja pointed out that the IGs posted in all the provinces and the Federal Investigation Agency director-general were all of Grade 21 and recently Punjab IG was promoted to Grade 22. This shows that there was no hard and fast rule of posting of an IG in grades 21 or 22, he said.
The Cabinet, however, decided that after consulting the law department, the provincial government would approach the federal government to post Dasti as the new IG.
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During the meeting, IG Khawaja gave a detailed presentation on the proposed Sindh Police (Posting, Transfer and Tenure) Rules, 2017. He said that in light of the Sindh High Court’s September 7 judgment, he has framed draft rules through a seven-member committee headed by an additional IG.
IG Khawaja said the IG would have the power to transfer and post all the police officers, which he would exercise through an assessment board. He added that there would also be a proper posting tenure.
He proposed that Additional IG, DIGs and SSPs would serve a two-year tenure, while investigation SPs, SDPOs, SHOs and SIOs would enjoy a one-year tenure. He added that the post of SHO would be given to a police officer of sub-inspector or inspector level. He must not be more than 55 years of age and must have upper school educational qualifications and have served a minimum seven years in the police.
Talking about the current premature transfer method, the IG said that there must be compelling reasons, such as physical or mental incapacitation duly certified by the medical board or an officer being arrested or found guilty in a departmental investigation, for them to be removed. The rules framed by the IG also state that the posting of female officers would be preferably made in the proximity of their home districts.
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Home Secretary Qazi Shahid Parvez gave a presentation prepared by a ministerial committee comprising Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal, Law Minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjar, Advocate General Zamir Ghumro and Law Secretary Iftikhar Shahlwani.
Parvez said the IG is proposing the introduction of new terms in the Police Rules, all of which are inconsistent with the Police Rules, 1934.
He proposed that the transfer and posting of police officers from grades one to 18 be given to the IG, while the remaining officers should be posted by the government.
To this the chief minister directed the home department to revisit the Rules proposed by the IG and the recommendations made by the committee and come up with well thought out rules. "My objective is to establish writ of the government and improve the performance of the police, therefore the proposal [should] be submitted within next 15 days," he said.
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