KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the provincial government to convene the meeting of its cabinet to consider the provincial police chief’s submitted draft of new rules for transfers and postings in the police department.

Headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, a two-judge bench was hearing an application seeking the court’s directions to the inspector general and Sindh government to enact the new rules in the police department.

Inspector General of Police Sindh A.D. Khowaja submitted a report informing the court that complying with its directives, he had drafted new rules and sent the same to the Sindh cabinet on Oct 6.

“I have submitted my recommendations regarding new drafted rules for transfers and postings to the provincial government,” the IGP added in his report.

Petitioner’s counsel Advocate Faisal Siddiqui told the judges that the provincial cabinet was supposed to consider IGP’s new drafted rules in its meeting specifically called for such purpose within 15 days of receiving the same.

He submitted that the provincial cabinet had formed a committee but kept the IGP away from it. The provincial government was delaying the enactment of new rules which was clearly delaying the implementation of the court’s order, the counsel added. The court directed the Sindh government to convene its meeting within 15 days to consider the drafted rules as per law and submit the report before it.

Earlier on Sept 7, the court in its judgment on Mr Khowaja’s removal case had directed the provincial police chief to draft new rules for setting out the manner of transfers and postings and submit the same before the provincial cabinet.

The court had ruled that “the inspector general shall, within 30 days, frame draft rules setting out the manner in which he, and the police hierarchy acting through him, is to exercise the power of transfers and postings in the police force at all levels, including PSP officers serving in the province”.

The court added in its judgment that “the draft rules shall be transmitted to the provincial cabinet and also, to ensure transparency, posted simultaneously and prominently on the website of the Sindh Police. The provincial cabinet must consider the draft rules at its next meeting or a meeting specifically called for such purpose within 15 days”.

Maintainability questioned

Meanwhile, another bench asked civil rights campaigner Alamgir Khan of Fixit and Justice Helpline Trust, a non-governmental organisation, to satisfy it on the maintainability of their joint petition against “dual standard” of education in the province and seeking constitution of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the matter impartially.

The bench directed the petitioners’ counsel Advocate Nadeem Shaikh to come up with arguments on the maintainability of the petition in the next hearing.

Earlier on Monday, the civil rights campaigners in their petition submitted that there were not enough middle and high schools to meet the challenge of providing necessary education to the children in the province.

They said according to a survey, around 6,000 government schools were not functioning and more than 40,000 [ghost] teachers were not working, due to political influence.

They said that according to a survey conducted by the Sindh education department, 77 per cent schools were in unsatisfactory conditions, and almost 50pc do not have basic facilities of safe drinking water and ablution.

Citing chief secretary, education secretary, member of education sector planning and development board and finance secretary as respondents, the petitioners prayed to the court to order constitution of a JIT consisting of members from all investigation authorities, including Pakistan Army, and direct them to investigate the matter impartially and honestly.

The court was further requested to pass appropriate orders in the light of JIT findings for the betterment of education sector in the province.

Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2017