Irked judges recommend larger Supreme Court bench decide cases

SC asks why chief secretary and IG shouldn’t be held in contempt over failure to provide report.


Zeeshan Mujahid August 31, 2012

KARACHI: The Supreme Court lost its patience with the chief secretary and police on Friday and asked why it shouldn’t hold them in contempt for dragging their feet on submitting a report.

The bench was hearing a number of applications, appeals and petitions about deputations to lucrative posts, the absorption of officers on deputation and out-of-turn promotions particularly in the Sindh police. Deputations involve sending officials on loan to another department.

The bench was irritated by the failure of the chief secretary and inspector general of police to submit a report it had called for. Explain why we should not issue you a contempt-of-court notice, said the bench consisting of Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Amir Hani Muslim. They were granted till Monday.

The issue has been heating up since May when the Supreme Court’s Justices Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Amir Hani Muslim asked the Sindh government to give it a comprehensive list on officials who were transferred and posted on deputation to different departments. It was given three different lists instead.

Sindh Chief Secretary Raja Muhammad Abbas had provided a list of 316 officers who were sent back to their original departments on the SC’s orders. The court felt at the time that the secretaries of departments were concealing names. Some of the cases seek to tackle out-of-turn promotions in the police.

The bench has recommended to the chief justice he form a three-member larger bench to hear the issue of the absorption of officers in the Sindh government. The bench observed during the proceedings that the Sindh government had repatriated officers to lower grades but influential top bureaucrats were protected. We are aware of each and every case and would pass appropriate orders at the appropriate time, giving the Sindh government every opportunity to correct the situation, the bench observed.

The SC had ordered that all officials return to their original departments. But the appeals against this have started coming in. On Friday, the SC bench was hearing an application filed by an officer named Agha Masood Abbas who wants an answer from the Sindh government. Abbas has questioned being sent back to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation. He argues that he did not need to be moved from the Lyari Development Authority because it was already local government (the same as KMC).

The bench issued notice to the Sindh government on this application.

The same bench, while hearing another application about a posting on deputation, gave more time to Abdul Wahab Shaikh who was posted to the Sindh Police from the Intelligence Bureau.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2012.

 

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