Sindh’s prosecutor general: Petition challenges power to transfer subordinates

3 assistant district public prosecutors had filed petition against their transfer orders.


Z Ali June 03, 2011

HYDERABAD:


In a petition that challenged the Sindh prosecutor general’s power to transfer his subordinates, a Sindh High Court judgment has declared him ‘vested with the authority’.


“The Sindh Criminal Prosecution Service Act IX of 2010 vests the prosecutor general with the administration and control over the service, besides describing him as the ‘head of service’,” the court noted.

The eight-page judgment which dismissed the petition was announced on Friday by the Sindh High Court division bench of Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar. Assistant District Public Prosecutors Shakil Ahmed Shaikh, Zairaf Hussain Khan and Raheem Baksh Khaskheli had filed a petition, challenging their March 5 transfer orders from Hyderabad to Umerkot.

The petitioners’ counsel, Noorul Haq Qureshi advocate, had contended that although the prosecutor general has administrative powers, he had not been entrusted with the power to transfer assistant, deputy and district public prosecutors. Citing Section 14 of Act IX, 2010, he held that, “the petitioners are civil servants in terms of Civil Servants Act 1973. Therefore, only the Sindh chief secretary is empowered to transfer and post them in the light of that act.”

The counsel mentioned a recent precedent in which the SHC gave a ruling last year against the transfer of assistant and deputy prosecutors. Advocate Qureshi prayed the court that the transfer orders be declared void ab initio (to be treated as invalid from the outset).

Meanwhile, the counsel representing the respondents - the Sindh government and the provincial law secretary - maintained that the administrative authority rests with the prosecutor general and he is also in charge of the prosecution service. “Scrutinising the provisions referred by the petitioner’s counsel, Section 14 of Act IX, 2010, will reveal [my position],” said Shahadat Awan, the Sindh prosecutor general.

To support his stance, he submitted an apex court verdict given in the Mehram Ali and Others vs. the federation of Pakistan case in 1998. Meanwhile, Additional Advocate General Allah Bachayo Soomro argued that the Government of Sindh acts as a ‘general superintendent’ but the authority of the service belongs to the prosecutor general.In its judgement, the division bench observed that, “the prosecutor general can safely be held as the sole custodian of the service with powers to effectuate administration.” The authority of transferring members or staff is completely vested in him, it added.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2011.

COMMENTS (2)

nadeem | 10 years ago | Reply

Mr Shahadat Awan who changed the prosecution department and made it independent in real words, gave his subordinates power to fight the influence used in any way. He teaches the prosecutors respect cant be bought by money. Mr. Awan voluntarily excepted this task and wants to work effectively. if the powers of transfer posting is not in hands of head of the department and stays in the hands of ministers then we cant call that department independent. we need ppl like Mr. Awan, who stopped the monthly black money bags of many corrupts. No one leaves his personal heavy earning practice just to do some thing good for society, we saw Mr. Awan doing that. PLEASE LET HIM WORK may he lives long.

Junaid Shaikh | 10 years ago | Reply That First of all i congratulate to my Lovely Worthy Prosecutor General Sindh, Mr. Shahdat Awan. According to my view the controversy regarding the power of transfer has been resolved after passing of order passed by the Honorable High Court. I am very good-humored and praying for long life and prosperity for my above named worthy P.G, and also requesting for pray for myself.
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