The higher you go, the harder you fall. Nearly 4,000 policemen across Sindh discovered this excellent reality on Monday night when their demotion orders came through.
Political influence may have helped them gain promotions, but the Supreme Court has ordered that only merit will prevail. “These were the promotions that were not made under any law,” explained DIG Establishment Shahid Hayat while confirming that the orders were issued on Monday. For cases over the inspector rank, individual inquiries will be conducted to decide if the officer was promoted fairly or not.
The ‘demoted’ officers rank from the constable to inspector. But sources said that the names of over 150 higher ranking officers, including SSPs, SPs and DSPs, are also being scrutinised by the chief secretary.
All the officers in charge across the province, from to Karachi to Mirpurkhas, have been asked to withdraw the out-of-turn promotions immediately.
A happy DIG Administration Abdul Khaliq Sheikh said that the force’s morale had taken a hit with such unfair means. There was a misconception that this affected the academy-trained Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) officers but he clarified that the decision only applied to ‘rankers’ or ranking police officers.
In fact, PSP officers have been forced to take a backseat because of unfair promotions. “It’s only because of these people that thousands of police officers who deserved promotions for years could not get them,” he said. “Now they will get what they deserve and police morale will soar.”
The fight against leapfrogging has been going on since the days of former IGPs such as Sultan Salahuddin Babar Khattak and Fayyaz Leghari.
As expected, there is anger. “Without individual inquiries, they’ve lined us all up,” said an ASI rank officer who did not want to be named.
In a second order, passed in a constitutional petition, the court said that such promotions were against the constitution and injunctions of Islam. They lead to frustration and diminish the spirit of public service.
This affects the salaries as well. Officers will go back to their original rank before they were promoted. Compliance reports must reach the Central Police Office in two days and then certificates must be submitted to the Supreme Court.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2012.