The long-standing issue of out-of-turn promotions, which was put to rest by the Supreme Court of Pakistan after it ordered the demotion of such officials, has resurfaced with the Sindh government constituting a committee to review each candidate, The Express Tribune learnt on Wednesday.
On June 12, a bench of three judges, headed by Justice Amir Hani Muslim, had directed to demote 66 officers to the same ranks as their batch mates by declaring the Sindh Police Shoulder Promotions Act, which was enacted through an ordinance, as void.
The officials holding the rank of deputy superintendent of police (DSPs) to deputy inspector general (DIGs), including DIG Manzur Mughal who is now retired, Sindh FIA Director Mohammad Malik, DIG (Finance) Dost Ali Baloch, SSP Chaudhry Aslam Khan, SSP Fayyaz Khan, SSP Raja Umer Khattab, SSP Khurram Waris, SSP Farooq Awan, SP Mazhar Mashwani, SP Irshad Ali Raza Sehar, SP Noorul Haq Rind and SP Waqar Malhan.
As the apex court directed to cancel their out-of-turn promotions, the demoted officers have decided to file a review petition at the same court. Before filing the review petition, however, a three-member committee has been constituted by the Sindh chief secretary to analyse the apex court’s 139-page long order.
Sindh Secretary Services, DIG Establishment and an official of the law department are the members of the committee.
“The Supreme Court’s orders will be implemented. The committee will only analyse each case and then forward it to the Sindh Chief Minister,” said Sindh chief secretary, Chaudhry Ejaz Ahmed. “It will then be left up to the CM to give his approval for the petition.”
According to a government law officer, the committee will submit its report to the chief secretary who will forward the same to the CM. At a later stage, it would be discussed as to which officer’s case was eligible for an appeal against the apex court’s order. “Around 1,200 officers will be affected in the process,” said the officer.
Senior legal officials, however, believe that the reviews are delay tactics being used by the government. “The initial 24 hours were the most important and these police officers should have been demoted to the same ranks as their batch mates within that time,” an official of the police legal department told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity. “Does this committee have more wisdom than the apex court? All the bills and ordinances by these officers have already been cancelled.”
Many of the police officials, who are in queue for the demotion as directed by the Supreme Court, are the bigwigs serving as the chiefs of the specialised units, including the Crime Investigation Department, Special Investigation Unit and Anti-Extremist Cell. They believe that they have what it takes to counter the challenges of terrorism and crime in the city, which was the reason they were promoted. They have also warned to resign from the police department if not given their rights. “No one except us can deal with terrorism - we are the best,” AEC chief SP Chauhdry Aslam told The Express Tribune. “All of us who worked against terrorism by putting our lives on risk will resign from the police department. There should be a difference between horses and donkeys.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2013.
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