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New police law to transfer administrative powers back to Sindh govt

Updated May 07, 2019

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A select committee formed by the Sindh Assembly has started deliberations on revival of Police Order, 2002.
A select committee formed by the Sindh Assembly has started deliberations on revival of Police Order, 2002.

KARACHI: Members of a select committee formed by the Sindh Assembly to review a new bill to repeal the existing Police Act, 1861 and revive the Police Order, 2002 met on Monday and decided that the new law would bring the police “within the ambit of accountability and under proper supervision”.

The members of the select committee met at the committee room of the Sindh Assembly Building with Agriculture Minister Ismail Rahu in the chair.

The Police Order, 2002, as per the draft legislation under consideration, would be revived with immediate effect “as if it had never been repealed”.

The Police Order was enforced by former military dictator Pervez Musharraf in 2002 and the previous PPP government had repealed it in 2011.

The draft bill would revoke the 2011 bill and revive the 2002 law as it was originally promulgated 17 years ago.

A select committee formed by the Sindh Assembly has started deliberations on revival of Police Order, 2002

Minister Rahu said it was expedient to bring the role of police and its responsibilities in the ambit of law as well making it accountable.

He said with the enforcement of the 2002 law, administrative powers of the police would be transferred back to the provincial government.

He said the select committee had begun furnishing and compiling recommendations over the revival of the police order, which would be submitted to the house next week.

“All recommendations being made by the members of the select committee would be incorporated in the bill regarding the police law. This bill will be tabled in the assembly with consultation of the opposition members,” said Mr Rahu.

He said it would be the Sindh government which would make policies and police would implement them.

He said the law would settle the issue about transfers, postings and police functioning.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Khwaja Izharul Hasan said community policing should be a significant part of the law and officials should be made accountable in police stations where crime ratio had increased.

Besides, input from civil society should also be part of the consultation on the new law.

Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi, ministers Imtiaz Shaikh, Saeed Ghani, and Shabbir Bijarani, Chief Minister’s Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab, Grand Democratic Alliance’s Shaharyar Mahar also attended the meeting.

The new bill says the Police Act, 1861 (Act No. V of 1861) to the extent of its application to the province of Sindh and the Sindh (Repeal of the Police Order 2002 and Revival of the Police Act, 1861) Act, 2011 (Sindh Act No. XXII of 2011), would be repealed immediately as the new act got passed.

“All orders made (including rules, by-laws, regulations and notifications and other legal instruments), proceedings taken, appointments made, acts done by any authority or any person, which were made, taken or done, or purported to have been made, taken or done thereunder, between July 3, 2011 and the date on which this Act comes into force, shall continue to remain in force, until altered, repealed or amended by the chief minister or any authority or officer authorised by him.”

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2019