LAHORE: A two-member bench of the Federal Service Tribunal (FST), Islamabad has suspended an earlier decision of reinstating Lahore Capital City Police Officer Ghulam Mahmood Dogar and ordered to constitute a larger bench to hear the case.

The bench, headed by FST acting chairman Rana Zahid Mahmood and member Mohammad Javed Ghani, has adjourned the case for disposal of review application by the larger bench on Dec 5.

The FST had suspended the operation of the order passed by the learned bench-III of the tribunal on Nov 10 regarding the suspension of Additional IGP Ghulam Mahmood Dogar. The notification of suspension of Mr Dogar issued by the Establishment Division on Nov 5 has been upheld, creating a controversy over the legal status of the JIT Mr Dogar is heading to probe the Wazirabad shooting incident.

Tribunal members Asim Akram and Mushtaq Jadoon had issued a three-page written decision on the CCPO’s plea on Nov 10, putting off his suspension and transfer order and reinstating him as Lahore police chief. The Bench had directed the ED to decide Lahore police chief’s petition against his transfer order first.

Decision puts Wazirabad case JIT in jeopardy

The counsel for the appellant had contended that his transfer order was in violation of Rule 21 of the Rules of Business as upheld by the apex court in Zahid Akhtar v Govt, of Punjab (PLD 1995 SC 530).

The ED later challenged the FST’s Nov 10 decision, requesting the bench to suspend the previous decision of the tribunal and constitute a large bench to hear the case.

“After hearing both the learned counsel for the parties, we are of the view that application for the constitution of larger bench is imperative to be allowed to ensure justice on the review application as main features hinted at least from both the sides are usurpation of jurisdiction by the learned Bench-III despite statuary bar under section 4(I) (a), secondly issuance of no notice to the opposite party/petitioner/respondent/government of Pakistan, thirdly observation by the learned Bench-III itself that appeal was premature,” reads the judgment of the FST issued on Thursday.

It further pointed out that if the appeal was premature as observed by the said Bench-III itself, how did it assume the jurisdiction and pass the order resulting in the suspension of operation of the ED’s order issued on Nov 5 against the respondent/appellant.

“The perusal of Section 3-A of the Service Tribunal Act 1973, authorises the chairman to constitute Benches of the Tribunal and it also includes at the same time the constitution of larger bench warranting in any particular case which in the instant case are squarely available as observed earlier, therefore this petition is accepted,” says the order.

It says the larger bench will be constituted and the office is directed to issue notification.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2022

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