PESHAWAR: While seeking response of the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to a petition against the new seniority list of police officers, the Peshawar High Court on Wednesday declared that senior level promotions in the department were subject to the court approval.

A bench consisting of Justice Ijaz Anwar and Justice Fazal Subhan directed the Establishment Division, establishment department and provincial police officer (PPO) to file replies to the petition by Sept 13 and adjourned the hearing until then.

“If any promotions of police officers are made through the provincial selection board, they will be subject to decision of the court in this petition,” it said.

The petition is jointly filed by superintendent of police (security) Salahuddin Khan and six other police officers requesting the court to declare the impugned seniority list issued on June 28, 2022, by the additional inspector general (AIG) (Establishment) as unconstitutional and against Articles 142, 240 and 260 of the Constitution.

Seeks govt response to petition against new police seniority list

The petitioners have also challenged the intended promotions through provincial selection board (PSB) of officers of BPS-17 and above questioning whether the provincial government was competent to promote such officers or it was the domain of the federal government.

The petitioners requested the court to direct the respondents, including the provincial government and provincial police officer, to restore an earlier seniority list of DSPs (BPS-17) issued on Feb 21, 2022, as it was based on the relevant laws and rules.

The petitioners highlighted the Police Service of Pakistan (Composition, Cadre and Seniority) Rules, 1985, and said those rules declare that promotions to BPS-18 should be made on the basis of 40 per cent quota reserved for the provincial police cadre.

They prayed the court to direct the respondents to prepare joint seniority list of senior officers in BPS-17, including ASPs and DSPs, in light of those rules and then make promotion to BPS-18 on the basis of 40 per cent quota of provincial police officers.

Advocates Anwarul Haq, Haji Mohammad Shoaib and Mohammad Ahmad Khan appeared for the petitioners whereas additional advocate general Khalid Rehman represented the provincial government.

The counsel for petitioners said their clients served as senior police officers (BPS-17) in the police department.

They said the petitioners, who were promoted as DSPs, had successfully undertaken various obligations and missions.

Mr Anwar said a seniority list meant for DSPs was issued on Feb 21, 2022, but violating different procedures and rules, the list was revised and instead, the impugned list was issued in June 2022 by the AIG (Establishment) without citing any cogent reason.

The lawyer said under Police Service of Pakistan (Composition, Cadre and Seniority) Rules, 1985, 40 per cent quota was reserved for promotion and ‘encadrement’ for officers of the police cadre of the province for which joint seniority list had to be prepared. He added that the respondents had never followed the criteria and rules.

The AAG requested the court to provide him some time for filing comments on behalf of the government.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2022

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