SHC upholds Centre’s postings of police officers

Petitioner contends Umerkot SSP transferred on PTI lawmaker's complaint


Nasir Butt September 24, 2021

KARACHI:

The Sindh High Court rejected on Thursday petitions challenging the transfers and postings of provincial police officers by the Centre.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Salahuddin Panhwar and Justice Adnanul Karim Memon was hearing petitions filed against the federal government's decision to transfer SSP Aijaz Ahmed Shaikh, DIG Munir Shaikh, DIG Fida Hussain Mastoi and other Grade 20 police officers.

The petitioner's counsel, Barrister Saluddin Ahmed, contended that the action taken against Umerkot SSP Aijaz Ahmed Shaikh by the Centre was illegal. The counsel argued that the federal government was ignoring the Supreme Court's decisions in this regard. He cited the cases of Anita Turab and former Sindh IGP AD Khawaja as examples.

SSP Aijaz was transferred on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPA Haleem Adil Sheikh's complaint to Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, who forwarded the lawmaker's - now Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly - request to Prime Minister Imran Khan's principal secretary, Barrister Ahmed. He informed the court that SSP Aijaz was transferred to the Motorway Police after Haleem complained that he was not cooperative with members of the opposition in Sindh.

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"The Sindh government did not relieve SSP Aijaz but the Centre issued him a show cause notice," said the petitioner's counsel. He argued that police officers were suffering because of the conflicts between the federation and the Sindh government. "The federal government acknowledged in court that the 1993 agreement was applicable in the case of joint employees. According to the agreement, officers will be transferred after consultation between both the governments."

Answering a question by the bench, SSP Aijaz said that according to the rotation policy, he was required to complete two years of service in difficult areas to qualify for a promotion.

During the hearing, the bench inquired whether any action was taken against SSP Aijaz.

To this, Sindh Advocate General Salman Talibuddin replied that SSP Aijaz was issued a show cause notice by the federal government. "The province is short on good police officers. SSP Aijaz's services are needed."

After hearing the counsels' arguments, the court dismissed the petitions against the federal government's action against different police officers in short order. Justice Panhwar remarked that the bench would state its reasons in a detailed order.

Bail plea

Meanwhile, another two-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Shamsuddin Abbasi extended the interim bail granted to Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister on Prisons Aijaz Jakhrani.

Hearing his bail plea, the bench observed that the SHC could only hear his plea after he withdrew his application from the Supreme Court.

During the hearing, NAB prosecutor informed the court that Jakhrani is accused of corruption during his tenure as an advisor on education.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2021.

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