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ISLAMABAD: A grade 18 officer of the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) was dismissed from service after he was found guilty of cyber harassment of his former wife.

A notification issued by the Establishment Division on Thursday said: “Upon completion of efficiency and discipline proceedings against … the Secretary Establishment while agreeing with the recommendations of the authorised officer has imposed major penalty - dismissal from service - upon him in terms of Rule 4(1)(b)(iv) of Government Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules 1973 with immediate effect.”

He has the right of appeal to the appellate authority under the Civil Servants (Appeal) Rule 1977 within 30 days of the receipt of the notification, it added.

Complainant alleged that after dissolution of their marriage, the SP created a fake profile of her on social media

The sacked officer was superintendent of police (SP) from the 34 Common Training Programme. The Establishment Division suspended him on Sept 22 when he was posted to Gilgit-Baltistan as the deputy inspector general of police (DIG).

The action was initiated after his former wife lodged separate complaints with the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Federal Ombudsman for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Islamabad, alleging that her ex-husband had created a fake Facebook profile of her and uploaded edited sexually explicit images.

A judgment issued on Sept 19, 2018, by Federal Ombudsperson Kashmala Tariq said the complainant and the SP were wife and husband and their marriage was dissolved through court.

The complainant worked as a lecturer with a university in Punjab. After dissolution of their marriage, the SP started harassing her at her workplace by using different modes such as fake email IDs and profiles on the social media, it added.

He also sent a defamatory letter to the workplace causing mental torture to her besides harming her professional repute and integrity. It said the SP also initiated a “spree of frivolous cases against his ex-wife and her family by virtue of his being a police officer and attempted to expel the entire family from their legitimate house by adopting illegal means.”

The judgment said summons were issued to the SP repeatedly but no one appeared on his behalf. As a result, the forum proceeded ex-parte against him.

The complainant provided evidence and her statement was recorded as ex-parte, the judgment added.

“Perusal of the record reveals that the SP was habitual of harassing his ex-wife as he is retaliating against her for calling off their marriage.”

The fake profiles have been verified by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as being operated by the SP.

“Keeping all the evidence available on the file and which is submitted by the complainant has proved her case as nothing is available in rebuttal from the SP.”

The SP was found guilty of harassing his ex-wife by defaming her repute, sexual baseless allegations, hindering her job at her workplace, uploading immoral material and creating fake Facebook IDs with her name. The judgment said the case was decided ex-parte in her favour.

“The SP is hereby dismissed from service under section 4 sub-section 4(ii)(d0 and (e) of the Act of 2010 along with a fine of Rs1million out of which Rs500,000 is payable as compensation to his ex-wife,” it said, adding the secretary Establishment Division is directed to implement the decision and report to this office within 15 days of receipt of the order.

“As the complainant has also filed a petition in the Human Rights Cell of the SC, therefore, this office also recommends that this order may be submitted to the HR cell of the court for further necessary action as deemed appropriate,” it added.

The SP filed a representation with the President’s Secretariat on Oct 15, 2018, against the decision of the ombudsperson. On Jan 1, the president ordered that the “recommendations of the ombudsperson were accepted in toto and the reasons put forward as recommendations of the CLA may also be mentioned, the representation is rejected.”

The SP filed an application for review of the order in representation on Jan 3 in the President’s Secretariat (public), alleging that the order was void ab initio and against the law and fact.

In response, the order issued on Jan 9 stated that no provision existed in the Federal Ombudsmen Institutional Reforms Act 2013 for review of the president’s decision.

“In the absence of any statutory provision, the president has no power to review his findings,” it said, adding the instant review petition cannot be entertained.

After the president upheld the decision of the ombudspersons, the Establishment Division issued the notification for the dismissal of the SP from service.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2019