Sindh cabinet approves amendments to recently-passed police law

Governor sought changes to ensure proposed law gives autonomy to police force in Sindh

Hafeez Tunio June 13, 2019

KARACHI: The Sindh Cabinet reconsidered 'Police Order 2002' on Wednesday and after much debate, approved a few amendments. This decision was taken after Sindh Governor Imran Ismail's refusal to give assent to the bill. Joint opposition parties had also decided to challenge it in court arguing that the proposed police law empowers the chief minister and curtails the Sindh inspector-general of police's authority for police officers' transfers and postings.

The meeting, chaired by Sindh chief minister at the New Sindh Secretariat building withdrew the home minister's proposed powers to transfer investigation and give the power to IGP for the transfer of SSPs and DIGs in consultation with the CM. Earlier, the law passed by the Sindh Assembly last month had given the CM power to transfer police officers, from the AIG to the SP, in consultation with the IGP.

Select committee reviews Police Order 2002

Leaving the IGP with a ceremonial role with orders being issued by the services, general administration and coordination department. "Now, the IGP has been empowered and he will consult with the CM before issuing final orders," said an official privy to the development, while speaking to The Express Tribune.

When the meeting on Wednesday began, the CM told cabinet members that the governor has suggested the provincial assembly reconsider the bill in order to realise the objective of having an independent police force for the province.

Adviser to CM on Law, Anti-corruption and Information Barrister Murtaza Wahab briefed the meeting about the discussion between the cabinet sub-committee and the police, civil society, the petitioner and their lawyer.

"The cabinet has approved the law referred back by the governor. It will be presented in the assembly on Thursday," said Wahab.

Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, all provincial ministers, advisers and special assistants to the CM as well as relevant secretaries attended the meeting which also had other items on the agenda. These included, the constitution of a Sindh minimum wage board, constitution of a governing body of the Sindh Employees' Social Security Institution (SESSI), the utilisation of amenity plots for mass transit projects, amendment in the Establishment of the Office of Ombudsman for the province in the Sindh Act 1991, the appointment of the administrator in Town Committees of Shadi Palli and Umerkot district, and the constitution of a provincial advisory council for the empowerment of 'Persons with Disabilities'.

Additional items discussed included rationalisation in the monthly Octroi and Zila Tax (OZT) share of 1,526 union councils and union committees, capital shortfall in Sindh Bank, the appointment of a CEO/President of Sindh Bank, amendment in the Sindh Regularisation of Teachers Appointed on Contract Basis Act 2018 and the resource mobilisation plan 2019-20.

Sindh Assembly opposition expresses reservations over proposed police law

'Persons with Disabilities'

The Sindh Cabinet approved a 62-member provincial advisory council for the empowerment of 'persons with disabilities' which will be a provincial level consultative and advisory body for issues concerning persons with disabilities (PWD). The advisory council would facilitate continuous evaluation of the policies in place for the empowerment of PWD and ensure their rights.

Amendment in Teachers Bill

The cabinet discussed an amendment in the Sindh Regularisation of Teachers Appointed on Contract Basis Act 2018. The cabinet was informed that the law in its original form catered to regularisation of teachers appointed in the year 2014 but an amendment in the law was imminent to make room for regularisation of the services of those Sindh University, and NTS qualified contractual teachers, who were appointed in the years 2015, 2016 and 2017. 

Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2019.

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