LAHORE: The Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) has been placed under the home department by amending Schedule 1 of the Punjab Government Rules of Business 2011, officials said on Wednesday.

Police had objected to the move and declared that the PSCA was basically under the police department. That was why a summary seeking an approval by the provincial cabinet and moved by the home department was withdrawn a few days ago, they maintain.

Officials said that the former additional chief secretary home Fazeel Asghar had got an approval of the chief minister for amending the Schedule 1 of the Rules of Business 2011 so as to declare the Punjab Safe Cities Authority an autonomous body of the home department.

But, later, the home department placed the same case before a cabinet sub-committee on legislation which approved it. Its summary was finally placed before the cabinet in its last meeting a few days back. But the present additional home secretary withdrew it on the plea that the matter stood settled after the approval by the chief minister and legally there was no need to get an approval of the cabinet.

Under the law, the chief minister could allow amendment to the Schedule of the Rules of Business, an official said.

He elaborated that after the amendment, the Punjab Safe Cities Authority was now an autonomous body of the home department. As per the Rules of Business, which are made to interpret the Constitution of Pakistan, police are not a department. Their administrative department is the home department which performs the province’s duty of maintaining law and order, he said.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2019