Sindh Advocate-General Barrister Zamir Ghumro said the government can take the matter to the Supreme Court as well as enact a law. PHOTO:FILE
KARACHI: After the Sindh High Court’s decision to reinstate Sindh Inspector-General of Police Allah Dino Khawaja, the provincial government has decided to legislate a law to counter the decision and challenge the high court verdict in the apex court.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Sindh Advocate-General Barrister Zamir Ghumro said they can use both options. “The court has referred to the Rules of Business, 1986 while reinstating the IG but these rules have already been quashed by the Sindh government,” he explained, adding that the court has given administrative powers to the IG under Section 4 of the Sindh Police Act, which is not in accordance with the law or Constitution, as the Sindh government has already repealed the relevant provision in the rules. “Under the Constitution, the administrative authority of the police rests with the provincial government and such autonomy can’t be handed over to the IG, who is a federal government employee,” said Ghumro. “How can a federal government employee enjoy administrative authority in the province?” he questioned, adding that the Sindh government will soon enact laws keeping in view the fundamental rights of its citizens.
The advocate-general said the judgment establishes the right of Sindh government to legislate on the police.
Ghumro said that the Sindh High Court has upheld that the police is exclusively a provincial subject and the Police Act, 2011 passed by the Sindh Assembly is a valid law. It has held that the Police Order, 2002 has been rightly repealed by the Sindh Assembly, he added.
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“The Sindh High Court has also declined the petitioners’ pleas to form a commission for police reforms,” said Ghumro. “The court has also accepted the Sindh government’s power to transfer the IG for compelling reasons, thus rejecting all the pleas of the petitioners,” he remarked.
He was of the opinion that the Sindh government has complete executive authority over the police under the law and it will continue to exercise that authority. “Authority of the provincial government over the police can’t be curtailed or exercised by the federal government through the IG,” he warned.
De-politicisation of the police
Civil society and human rights activists on Thursday demanded the provincial government accept the court’s decision and de-politicise the police force.
Addressing a joint press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research Executive Director Karamat Ali, Aurat Foundation Resident Director Mahnaz Rahman, Shehri’s Khateeb Ahmed and Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum General Secretary Saeed Baloch said that although the Sindh High Court has not accepted their plea to declare the Police Order, 1861 null and void, they are happy that the court has given a historic verdict regarding police reforms and restored the powers of the IG. “It is now the responsibility of the Sindh government to introduce police reforms in the province,” added Ali.
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He pointed out that court has accepted the provincial assembly’s power to make any law. It has also mentioned that under the Sindh Government Rules of Business 1986 the tenure for the IG is five years, endorsing that the provincial government has the powers to reduce the tenure. However, the tenure should not be less than three years, he added.