Pakistan News

SHC extends order restraining IG’s removal till April 11

SHC extends order  restraining IG’s  removal till April 11

KARACHI: Sindh police chief A.D. Khowaja might not be removed by the PPP-led provincial government at least for another couple of days as the Sindh High Court extended on Thursday its interim order till April 11 restraining his removal from the post of inspector general of police.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Munib Akhtar put off the hearing of two applications against the removal of Mr Khowaja to April 11 after hearing partly the arguments of the applicants’ counsel, Advocate Faisal Siddiqui, who would continue his submissions on the next date.

Civil rights campaigners had approached the SHC requesting for contempt proceedings against the provincial government after it surrendered the services of Mr Khowaja to the federal government and appointed Additional IG Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti, a grade-21 officer, as acting IG on March 31 and April 1, respectively.

Earlier, Advocate General Zamir Ghumro referred to the court’s previous order and submitted that the provincial cabinet had met and given sanction and approval to the order surrendering services of Mr Khowaja and the notification appointing Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti as acting IGP.

He also filed the statement of provincial services secretary along with minutes of the cabinet meeting which was taken on record by the bench.

In his reply to the contempt application, the services secretary submitted that the applicants were overstretching intent and import of the SHC order of Dec 28, 2016, with mala fide intention to divest the provincial government from its exclusive right of appointing police chief.

He said Mr Khowaja was a junior officer in the seniority of officers of the Pakistan Police Services and was serving in the provincial government on an own-pay-and-scale (OPS) basis. The provincial services secretary stated that the provincial government relieved Mr Khowaja as it intended to appoint one of the senior officers as IGP in compliance with the order of the Supreme Court that had deprecated appointments on an OPS basis.

He said that the contempt application was not maintainable as the restraining order dated Dec 12, 2016, did not put an absolute bar on removing Mr Khowaja, rather in terms of Anita Turab case.

Amid tussle, Rangers chief visits Khowaja

Hours after the high court’s order extending the stay order it had earlier granted to keep the Sindh’s police IG in office, the Director General of the Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, Maj Gen Mohammed Saeed, visited the Central Police Office on Thursday.

He held a meeting with IG A.D. Khowaja, according to police spokesperson. Additional IGP for Counter-Terrorism Department Dr Sanaullah Abbasi and Additional IG Special Branch Dr Aftab Pathan were also present.

The law and order situation, particularly the ongoing operation in Karachi, came under discussion at the meeting.

Sources told Dawn that the head of the paramilitary force and the provincial police chief also held a one-to-one meeting.

They said that the Ranger DG’s visit to the IG was followed by a luncheon given by the former at the Rangers Mess.

They added that the IGP and other senior police officers attended the luncheon.

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2017

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