KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday again directed the provincial authorities to frame rules regarding transfers and postings in the police department by May 14.
A two-judge bench of the SHC headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi was hearing a contempt of court application against Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and the then chief secretary for not complying with an earlier order of the SHC to draft new rules for transfers and postings in the police.
At the last hearing, the bench had directed the authorities to complete the process within four weeks. However, when the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, an assistant advocate general (AAG) again sought time to file a final compliance report.
Justice Rizvi expressed resentment over the inordinate delay in implementing the earlier order of the SHC and remarked that whether the provincial government needed two years to complete the task, adding that apparently the provincial authorities did not seem interested in implementing it.
Earlier the SHC had directed the authorities to complete the process within four weeks
The AAG contended that the order would be implemented in letter and spirit, and maintained that in the light of the SHC order, a cabinet committee had met on Jan 9 and March 22 and it was examining the Police Order 2002 and other relevant laws as well as the police rules of other provinces and the federal capital.
After examining all the relevant laws and rules, the committee will send its recommendations to the cabinet, the law officer said and sought time for a final compliance report. The bench granted the authorities till May 14 to complete the process.
The application seeking contempt proceedings against the chief minister and the then chief secretary Rizwan Memon was filed by civil rights campaigners.
The counsel for the applicants submitted that on Sept 7, 2017 the SHC, in its judgement in the A.D. Khowaja removal case, had issued directives for drafting new rules for transfers and postings and submitting the same before the provincial cabinet.
He further argued that complying with the court’s directives, the then IGP Khowaja had drafted new rules and sent them to the provincial cabinet, adding that the provincial cabinet was supposed to consider the new rules in its meeting called for the purpose within 15 days of receiving the same from the IGP, but the meeting was held after a delay of seven days and the drafted rules were not considered.
Earlier, the court had repeatedly directed the Sindh government to convene its meeting to consider the drafted rules as per law and submit a report before it.
The applicants’ lawyer argued that despite clear directives of the court, the provincial government had failed to consider the drafted rules; therefore, contempt of court proceedings should be initiated against the CM and others.
Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2019