By Anzal Amin
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court, while hearing a case related to politically-motivated transfers and posting in Punjab Police, Wednesday ordered the federation and the provinces to submit an eight-year record of the shakeups in the country’s different police departments.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial with members Justice Ayesha Malik and Justice Athar Minallah heard the case. At the request of the petitioner, the Supreme Court extended the scope of the case to the federation and other provinces.
The Supreme Court directed the federation and the provinces to furnish the record of shufflings in the police departments during the last eight years within two weeks.
The chief justice remarked that according to the data, the average term of a district police officer (DPO) in Punjab was five months and 268 DPOs were transferred in Punjab over four years.
Justice Ayesha Malik asked the petitioner’s lawyer where did he get this data from? The lawyer replied it was obtained from the Central Police Office (CPO).
Sharing his thought with the court, Justice Athar Minallah remarked that political transfers negatively impacted the performance of the criminal justice system.
The petitioner’s counsel said that the average term of inspector general of police (IGP) in Punjab was six months which should be three years as per law, adding, police officers were changed in the province without any reason in the last four years.
To this, the CJP said that according to the petitioner’s lawyer, this matter was not limited to Punjab, the former IGP of Islamabad was an educated and decent officer and he handled the matter of an attack on Sindh House very well, but he was also changed.
Rana Tahir Saleem, the petitioner, moved the Supreme Court to stop illegal political intervention in the police department. Saleem also drew the attention of the apex court towards the violation of Police Order 2002 with regard to the security of tenure and in transfers and postings of police officers from bottom to top.