SC suspends transfer order, reinstates ex-CCPO Dogar

Top court says CEC alone has no power to approve transfers

Our Correspondent December 02, 2022
CCPO Ghulam Mahmood Dogar. PHOTO: FILE


The Supreme Court on Friday suspended the transfer order of former Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Mehmood Dogar and restored him to his post, observing that the chief election commissioner alone had no power to approve transfers.

A three-member bench, comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, heard the transfer case of Dogar.

Dogar was at the centre of a tussle between the federal government and the then Punjab government under Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi last year. He had booked PML-N leaders in cases and headed the Wazirabad JIT which was probing the assassination attempt on PTI chief Imran Khan. The Centre tried recalling him but the Punjab government did not allow it. The Centre suspended Dogar but the top court reinstated him. Then, the caretaker Punjab government suspended him.

At the outset of the hearing, Justice Ahsan asked, “Where is the chief election commissioner?”

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) secretary replied that the CEC was unwell.

The secretary apprised the court that the Punjab government made a verbal request for the transfer of Dogar on Jan 23. “A writ petition came on Jan 24 and was approved on Feb 6.”

Justice Naqvi asked whether orders were issued on verbal request even in normal circumstances.

Justice Ahsan remarked that a verbal request was received, approved and even implemented. “Correspondence was conducted after the implementation.”

Justice Akhtar inquired whether the government institutions worked verbally. “Can constitutional bodies issue verbal orders? “The CEC and the Election Commission can approve transfer orders.”

He asked, “Has the Election Commission delegated its powers to the CEC?”

The ECP DG Law apprised the court that there was no document to undermine the powers.

The Supreme Court remarked that the transfer order of Dogar was against the law. “Dogar was transferred first on verbal orders and then it was given in writing.”

The court rejected the request of the ECP to give more time to submit records on transfer and postings while reinstating former CCPO Dogar.

Justice Akhtar remarked, “The clock is ticking very fast, tick, tick, tick. Ninety days are about to expire and the ECP is asking for more time.”

Justice Ahsan said that the ECP’s job was to conduct transparent elections and they were asking for time for that too.

The court also rejected the Islamabad High Court Bar Association's request to issue an order on the petition for elections in Punjab.

Justice Ahsan remarked, “Before us is only the case of transfer of the Lahore CCPO.”

He said, “The issue of delay in elections in Punjab has already been referred to the chief justice of Pakistan.”

Justice Akhtar inquired as to who called the CEC and requested the transfer.

“Tell Mr X to be patient, the commission will decide on your application.”

Justice Akhtar remarked that how was the CEC himself making decisions as the entire ECP?

Lahore CCPO Dogar was asked by the caretaker government to report to the Punjab Service and General Administration Department on Jan 23. Then, the newly installed caretaker Punjab government replaced Dogar with Bilal Siddique Kamyana as the new CCPO.


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