KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a report submitted by Sindh IG Ghulam Haider Jamali about the disbursement of funds earmarked to improve and strengthen the police force's investigation wing.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany, ordered the provincial police chief to submit a detailed report regarding the budget allocations and the expenditures of the investigation wing across Sindh.
The bench, which also comprised of Justices Amir Hani Muslim and Gulzar Ahmed, was hearing a case regarding the withholding of the investigation wing's funds by the IG. The matter of withholding funds and spending the same on other operational tasks had emerged during a meeting chaired by Justice Muslim, the apex court's monitoring judge for the anti-terrorism courts nationwide.
Justice Muslim had issued administrative directions to the IG and other relevant authorities to ensure the provision of funds to the cash-strapped investigation wing, which had a crucial role to play in the effective prosecution of criminals, many of whom were acquitted due to faulty investigations.
When the IG and others failed to comply with the directives, the judge had given directives to initiate proper proceedings and pass appropriate orders to the relevant authorities in this regard.
Initiating judicial proceedings on Tuesday, the three-member bench had summoned Jamali and all the other relevant authorities to submit details of the budgetary allocations for the investigation wing and explain why the same were withheld by the police chief.
Appearing on the court's notice, Jamali filed a report about the matter, saying that a total of Rs127,527,000 was given by the provincial government to the police department in the last annual budget. Regarding the disbursement of the funds, he explained that Karachi and rural Sindh were provided funds separately.
Justice Muslim asked him who the current finance DIG was, to which the police chief replied that the post had been lying vacant for three years. He was quick to add that it had been recommended to the competent authority to abolish the post.
The bench remarked that the post of the finance DIG seemed to have been created just to reward one person, who was earlier appointed as a consultant to the police force and was later appointed as the DIG.
The bench members noted with concern that the issue of peace in Karachi had come under debate but not a single rupee was being given to the police's investigation wing. They further remarked that a dual system was being run in Sindh, separate for Karachi and the rest of the province.
Justice Muslim asked the IG about the formula governing the distribution of the police funds, asking how the funds meant for the investigation wing were being spent on the operational wing. "This is public money, which cannot be spent in such a manner."
Finding the police chief's report unsatisfactory, the judges dismissed it and ordered him to submit a detailed report, mentioning the current total budgetary allocations and requirement of funds for the police department.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2015.